Nature-Based Hazard Mitigation Through FEMA Mitigation Grants
Event Type: Webinar (Zoom)
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Chris Levitz, AECOM
Amy Baker, AECOM
Tayler Tharaldson, AECOM
Taylor Nordstrom, AECOM
Hybrid approaches to hazard mitigation that combine gray infrastructure with nature-based solutions (NBS) have been shown to mitigate risks associated with flooding (riverine and coastal) and wildfire. Join members of AECOM and The Nature Conservancy as they provide a brief overview of NBS, funding opportunities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants, and how to maximize benefits for a given project.
CEUs for APA and ASFPM have been requested.
More Information about the Speakers:
Chris Levitz serves as the Coastal Engineering and Resiliency Manager on the Gulf Coast for AECOM and specializes in resilience planning and design, with a strong coastal and flood risk focus. Mr. Levitz has significant experience working on an assortment of flood risk analysis and design projects for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Texas General Land Office (GLO), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and many other state and local clients. Through these efforts he has made consensus building with communities a priority, working to align community development goals with ecological and long-term climate change needs. Developing approaches to merge green and gray infrastructure for a more resilient and adaptable community future is his focus, bringing these elements into planning and design. These efforts have resulted in multiple award-winning projects, including living shoreline projects with Sylvan Beach and Virginia Point to large-scale master planning with the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan. Mr. Levitz served as the engineering project manager in the recently published TNC guidebook “Promoting Nature-Based Hazard Mitigation through FEMA Mitigation Grants” and served as a technical expert for Conservation International in development of the “Practical Guide to Implementing Green-Gray Infrastructure”.
Amy Baker is an Associate Vice President at AECOM, a licensed Professional Engineer, and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)® and a Certified Floodplain Manager. She provides subject matter expertise for mitigation and resiliency efforts and brings 22 years of experience in civil engineering, mitigation, post-disaster damage assessment, and disaster recovery using resilient measures, and recovery grant programs. Ms. Baker has focused the majority of her career and support to clients through the management of projects (ranging in contract size from tens of thousands to multi-millions) that support the long term resilience of the built environment. Since 2004 Ms. Baker has supported mitigation, resilience, and recovery efforts at the Federal, State and local levels for 20+ events including the 2004 Hurricane season, Hurricanes Katrina, Gustov, Ike, Sandy, Michael, Harvey, Irma, Maria and Laura. Her experience and knowledge gained during these efforts have resulted in the identification of funding strategies that support clients achieve their near-, mid-, and long-term goals of becoming more resilient. Ms. Baker also brings the personal perspective to community resilience, having been impacted more than once, working to rebuild with a more resilient mindset and work with the community to prepare for and mitigate future impacts.
Tayler Tharaldson is a community ecologist with widespread research experience in nearshore and coastal habitats throughout California. She has experience collaborating with northern California tribes, non-profits, state and federal agencies. She serves as a Climate Ecologist for AECOM in Oakland, California and has been involved in climate adaptation and resiliency initiatives to communicate science and engage stakeholders for the past several years. Her current work focuses on climate change ecology, more specifically, ecosystem vulnerabilities to changing climatic conditions, adaptation planning and best practice management recommendations, promotion of nature-based solutions for hazard mitigation, land-use conservation and advance mitigation planning frameworks.
Taylor Nordstrom serves as a Coastal Engineer for AECOM in Houston, Texas and has worked on a variety of coastal restoration, flood protection, and community resilience projects. She has previously performed riverine and coastal flood risk analyses for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and completed living shoreline construction projects to prevent coastal erosion, and is currently working to restore a Texas beach that was eroded during Hurricane Harvey. Ms. Nordstrom has several years of experience with resiliency planning for major state and federal agencies, including the Texas General Land Office (GLO), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Texas Department of Transportation’s Maritime Division. Recently, her planning work has included co-authoring a guidebook for The Nature Conservancy entitled, “Promoting Nature-Based Hazard Mitigation through FEMA Mitigation Grants” and developing the GLO’s 2017 and 2019 “Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan.”