Library Blog

Coastal Resilience

Road along ocean

This month the library is highlighting books on coastal resilience with a new book display!

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service, coastal resilience is defined as “building the ability of a community to "bounce back" after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding – rather than simply reacting to impacts."

On November 16, 2018, the RWU School of Law Marine Affairs Institute will be hosting the Marine Law Symposium on a topic related to coastal resiliency: “Legal Strategies for Climate Adaptation in Coastal New England.”

This symposium will focus on how state and local governments in coastal New England can overcome legal barriers to climate adaptation.  Speakers will discuss opportunities for state and municipal governments to proactively include adaptation into their planning, such as incorporating climate risks into local laws, ordinances, regulations, and policies. 

Speakers will also address some of the potential legal conflicts related to climate adaptation, including constitutional conflicts, state and federal law conflicts, and potential liability for acting or failing to act on climate risks. Panel and presentation topics include:

  • Are State and Local Governments Liable for a Failure to Adapt to a Changing Climate?

  • Adapting to the Deluge: Emerging Legal Issues from Recent Hurricane Seasons

  • Infrastructure & Sea-Level Rise: Legal Challenges for Local Government Maintenance of Infrastructure

  • Opportunities for Institutionalizing Resilience Approaches in Local Laws, Ordinances, Regulations and Policies and a Focus on Strategies for Facilitating Retreat

  • Options for State and Local Governments to Proactively Include Adaptation into Planning, and Resources to Assist that Work

This symposium is co-sponsored by the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law, Rhode Island Sea Grant, and the Georgetown Climate Center. For any questions regarding this event, please contact or 401-254-5392.

If you would like to learn more about coastal resilience and the Law Library’s collection, see our LawGuide. You can also find the books from the display featured on our Pinterest page.

For further help with research related to coastal resilience and other maritime law topics, stop by the reference desk or email one of the librarians at

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