About Future Coast 

The Future Coast initiative is a model for engaging communities in discussions on coastal flooding and sea-level rise that is being developed and tested by a team of researchers led by George Mason University, and funded by Mid-Atlantic Sea Grant. The project has three primary components: a survey of Anne Arundel County residents, a day-long community event with residents and experts on policy responses to coastal flooding, and an online visualization of local impacts developed specifically for the use of the general public.

The project launched in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, with a survey of county residents in Spring 2012 accompanied by invitations to attend a Saturday, April 28th community discussion session in Severna Park. At the event, participants engaged with fellow community members to discuss their perceptions of coastal flooding now and in the future, and what local governments might do in the long-term to address it. Science and policy experts attended the event to answer residents’ questions. Participants’ survey responses have been compiled into a report that will be shared with local officials and media in Summer 2012.


By inviting residents from a random sample of addresses within the county, project organizers sought to attract a representative group of community members to participate in the survey and the April 28th Citizens' Discussion. 


George Mason University is collaborating on the project with researchers at the U.S. Naval Academy and Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College. The visualization and online site is being developed by Dewberry, a regional engineering firm.


The final project report will include recommendations for how other communities can develop their own Future Coast sites and community discussions.

The Future Coast project is not funded — and has no ties to planning efforts — by Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis or the State of Maryland.