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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) and Naval Support Activity Annapolis (NSAA) released a jointly developed installation resiliency plan, associated project portfolio, and phased execution plan, April 27, 2023.
Completed in 2022 and in alignment with the Secretary of the Navy’s priorities, this plan provides an integrated adaptation framework, project portfolio, and year-to-year execution strategy that will mitigate the combined effects of land subsidence, sea level rise, ground-water change, coastal flooding/storm surge and inadequate stormwater management at the Naval Academy to the year 2100.
“Sea level rise and land subsidence are increasingly impacting operations at the Naval Academy,” said Vice Adm. Sean Buck, the Naval Academy’s 63rd superintendent. “The bottom line is that we are dealing with increasing amounts of water on the Yard every year and the projections show that the effects of climate change are an existential threat to the Naval Academy.”
The combined effects of sea level rise, coastal flooding (e.g., nuisance and storm surge), groundwater inundation, land subsidence, and surface water flooding from extreme weather events will continue to intensify, and a proactive, integrated adaptation strategy is warranted to address these threats as directed by the Department of the Navy Climate Action 2030 strategy.
The plan uses most recent sea level rise projections, as recommended by the USNA Sea Level Rise Advisory Council (SLRAC) and the DoD Regional Sea Level database. It recommends a variety of complementary adaptation and resilience projects that will work together to provide protection of the campus.
“The study provides information and a project portfolio that needs to be accomplished over the next forty-plus years,” said Navy Capt. Tom McLemore, NSAA public works officer. “We must now balance the information from the study with conditions of the existing infrastructure to create a program of projects that balances the mission of the Academy, funding availability, and the risks associated with rising seas.”
Projects are requirements-based and phased over time, beginning in 2023 and continuing through 2065, resulting in a short-term, mid-term and long-term portfolio of projects. Actual execution of the plan will depend on available funding. One of the first major projects of the plan, raising seawalls in the vicinity of Farragut Field and Santee Basin, was funded this year and construction efforts are underway.
“The expertise of our faculty and staff on the Sea Level Rise Advisory Council has been a key factor in our ability to build a plan that is consistent with scientifically accepted science in this field as well as with our daily operations and mission requirements,” said Naval Academy Deputy for Facilities and Construction Sara Phillips.
In addition to the work done building the plan, solutions continue to be refined through faculty-led midshipman research projects.
“There are many opportunities to create resilience at the Academy and we are invested in finding the most efficient and effective ways to do that as we move into the realities of climate change and its impacts here in Annapolis,” Phillips said.
The resilience plan, which includes an integrated adaptation framework, project portfolio, and phased execution plan, as well as an executive summary, can be found on the Naval Academy website:
The Department’s Climate Action 2030 strategy document can be found at:
For more information about the Naval Academy, please see www.usna.edu or the academy's Facebook page.
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