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15. Please let us know what you think are potential strengths of MARI:

Text Response

  • Ability to connect local educational/scientific entities.
  • You're in the heart of one of the most susceptible areas in the US, which provides an excellent reason to establish MARI. Taking a regional approach is positive, but it will likely require going beyond the Hampton Roads region to be inclusive on non-tidal areas. ODU is also located in an area where concerned and supportive stakeholders already exist.
  • Getting all of the information in one place should be useful.
  • Well defined
  • Addressing national security - military bases. That is hugely important in Hampton Roads and other coastal areas. MARI can help facilitate and foster cooperation between DOD and local governments.
  • Centralized resource with regard to climate change issues and associated impacts on Hampton Roads. Strong outreach and education capabilities that will enhance awareness, communication and development of potential actions/initiatives to mitigate potential impacts.
  • A potential focal point for climate change adaptation solutions.
  • The interdisciplinary nature is a strength ...
  • I think the concept of MARI is great. As demonstrated by the response to the forums, there is a need and interest in Hampton Roads for a dialogue/interaction across the region on SLR as well as more targeted information for government stakeholders to appropriately make decisions. It think the design of MARI in regards to developing courses, certificates, and degrees for ODU students is great. I also love how the faculty working for the MARI will be interdisciplinary and focused on mitigation and adpaptation options.
  • Ability to gathet and organize data, make it available to stakeholdets.
  • Issue is compelling, but climate change has a curious political, vicercal response from people--almost polarized now.
  • Provides a way to disseminate information to the public. Provides another way to educate the public about flooding risk.
  • Regional involvement
  • An independent institution will have the ability to bridge gaps in the regional cooperation. This will also allow for relevant research that affects local concerns that can also be addressed worldwide.
  • MARI is well-positioned geographically to deal with climate change mitigation efforts, and hopefully well-positioned (and supported!) academically and pedagogically, to deal with the same.
  • The strengths of MARI would be the social science expertise that ODU provides - and if done correctly, provide a unifying entity.
  • pressure on local government to get their act together.
  • Data gathering, interpretation, student man power
  • MARI, as an initiative, is highly relevant, timely, and will provide vital knowledge and resources to educate and empower all coastal inhabitants, governments, businesses, residents and ecosystems.
  • A voice to publicize the dangers of climate change and inform the public.
  • The fact that ODU is creating MARI is most important. Success depends on well we monitor stakeholder interests to insure we are relevant to their problems/needs.
  • Just the fact that you are working on climate change adaptation and mitigation issues and make folks aware of the problem. I have talked to Congressman Wittman about problems in the Norfolk area and he thinks all we need to do are near term adaption to protect Naval Base Norfolk. Congressman Rigell needs to be brought into the 21st century on this issue as well.
  • The basic premise for the Institute is strong and the draft document was well written. There is a recognition that this is a complex, multi-faceted endeavor and there will be some growing pains. There seems to be a commitment to a long-term endeavor, which is vital. Especially attractive to a scientific person is the recognition that infusions of new science and the need to continually monitor changes in the environment and communicate this information are essential.
  • Hampton Roads is ground-zero for the impacts of sea level rise and climate change in the country, and it is critical that decision-making on this challenge is guided by such a research institution. MARI's stakeholder focus is unique and very much needed to support policies that would improve safety and public health of our community.
  • Pragmatic regional leadership; focusing university efforts
  • I'm less interested in justifying and communicating the SLR concern and much more interested in providing technical solutions, think MARI aligns better with my goals.
  • Research and education on climate control and mitgation.
  • Planning and initiating are the beginning steps to change.
  • Creating a vision for Virginia's response to climate change, informing decision makers and stakeholders, increasing momentum on taking action to address climate change
  • Having a respected state university located in the "eye of the storm" of climate impacts could be very helpful bringing public attention to climate issues that are generally ignored by public officials who may be only thinking as far into the future as the next election.
  • Conducting valuable research and providing data that supports the need to reduce the negative effects of CCSLR.
  • Quite well established base from ODU's CCSLRI; connections with local gov and interest groups
  • development of localized data and networking capacity
  • Good internal organization. Knowledgeable experts in house.
  • I firmly believe that adaptation efforts will be most successful in action by involving the local area. MARI could be idealling suited for the grass roots effort, most specifically to provide accurate and actionable science
  • Regional focus, inter-disciplinary approach, willingness to engage stakeholders, acknowledgment of importantce of outreach/communication and not only serving as source of credible information
  • Trans-diciplinary problem motivated applied research needed locally.

Total Responses: 37

16. Please let us know what you think are potential weaknesses of MARI:

Text Response

  • lack of citizen and other stakeholder participation.
  • Ignore impacts from typical rain events as you'll get dragged into the quagmire of stormwater management. This will take away focus and resoruces from the more pressing issue of sea level rise.
  • There's so much activity around flooding and sea level rise in this region, it seems that this should be more of a partner-driven effort - e.g. working with VIMS and other groups that have been driving these activities, rather than it being housed at and controlled by ODU. It has the potential to add to the confusion for local decision-makers that have to sift through all of the available information and advice.
  • Not sure at this time
  • If by mitigation you mean reducing greenhouse gases, you are going to lose businesses concerned that reducing greenhouse gases would hurt their profitability.
  • Won't be successful unless closely tied to policy-makers.
  • however, I don't think the institute has fully throught through the systems and people-power it will neeed to truly unsilo the research, information, and education. Roads to outreach and communication are extremely unclear as are how such an ambitious project will be funded. I do not want this to be yet another unfunded idea that comes out of ODU and then fizzles after burning out its staff and faculty and making pormises it cannot keep to the community.
  • Throughout the draft document, the need to collaborate and build and strengthen relationships with other universities, non-profits, and local and state government staff is emphasized, however, I do not feel that the governance structure adaquetely reflects this. A stakeholder assembly is not enough involvement for these outside stakeholders. Researchers and staff from other local universities such as VIMS and William and Mary need to be part of the membership team and involved in the research projects to prevent duplication of research efforts. Members from VIMS and William and Mary, local non-profits, and local government staff need to be part of the Steering Committe for MARI to ensure that the needs of the region are being adquately met. If the governance for MARI is as ODU centric as the draft plan, I feel that we will continue to silo the work being done and miss out on opportunities to form a regional, collaborative approach. Another weakness in the draft plan is the reliance on virtual technologies. While technology such as social media and online streaming of meetings is a great tool for members of the community unable to travel or devote a large amount of time to involvement, MARI, as I understand it, is designed to be a regional think-tank that provides insight, options, and solutions to regional decision makers. If MARI is meant to be regional, it would be much better to emphasize face-to-face interactions. I attened all forum meetings and the ACCESS_EU conference, and a lot of the value for me was the chance to network and interact with experts and colleaguse working on this subject. By emphasizing the virtual aspect, I feel that a lot of the value of MARI will be lost for the regional stakeholders.
  • Not engaging organizations already concerned.
  • Outreach should be tailored to the audience in language and tenor that they find credible, plus, "what will this do for my organization, or me?" Mari cannot be seen as "a bunch of academics" just talking climate change. Would advise on finding a "quick win" topic that resonates locally--dunes on Ocean View, perhaps?
  • University committees can sometimes get tied up in the specific details and agendas.
  • A lot of stakeholders and conflicting science
  • It appears that there is no collaboration with the William and Mary Law Clinic that also has the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic which can provide some legal expertise if necessary.
  • The universal disconnect between recommendations and implementation of recommendations (not necessarily specific to MARI), as well as the likely disconnect between MARI and the local governance structures, their openness to civic input, and their follow up on long-term issues (specific to MARI).
  • If not done correctly, the initiative could be divisive and lead to confusion, seems too ODU-dominant - there are several other key partners that should be engaged. ODU doesn't have all the different expertise that is needed for adaptation - legal, architecture, landscape architecture, etc. - how can this organization be the everything that it claims to be?
  • How will ODU support this organization? How long will the support last?
  • public does not know about the orgnization, its research and planned research.
  • May not know enough about programs and processes already working in Norfolk particularly.
  • Potential weaknesses within existing adaptation and research arena (which may be encountered by MARI). 1. The identification and protection of existing fresh water drinking supplies (aquifers/groundwater) from future contamination attributed to sea-level rise. 2. Empowering micro-scale initiatives for citizens to implement as coastal communities rapidly evolve that will ensure real adaptation to rising sea level. Adaptations that will likely conflict with existing or non-existent macro-scale governmental zoning and emergency management criteria. 3. Establishment of emergency evacuation routes that afford safe retreat from flood prone areas based on future projections. 4. Retreat planning need for removal of governmental infrastructure (buildings, utilities, landfills, roadways/bridges) from vulnerable areas prior to total submersion. 5. Retreat planning needs for removal of HAZMAT (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear), emphasis added on all DOD, EPA, and DOE monitored sites (SuperFund, CERLA, NPDES Permits, underground mining/petroleum) 6. Retreat planning for businesses. 7. Retreat planning for private property owners.
  • At this point, we need to insure we maintain a learning culture. We need to insure we continuously challenge ourselves for recognize emergent issues (those things we cannot foresee); engage in lessons learned, and inculcate those lessons to help us adapt with these future conditions.
  • Focus may end up on adaptation due to your location and the immediate problems of sea level rise in Hampton Roads. For the longer term, mitigation is more important and a significant effort needs to be implemented in parallel to adaptation.
  • Care will have to be taken with respect to the working definitions of mitigation and adaptation. I understand why there are three categories cited (it helps to flesh out mitigation more so it is not just carbon control) but I question whether this is optimal. It may run counter to accepted practice and cause undue confusion. Two categories may be preferable. Convention seems to be that mitigation refers to any effort that leads to reduction of CO2 and other GHGs and adaptation covers responses to climate change to reduce/accommodate impacts (whether in the natural or built environments). For example, if effective mitigation occurs, then an (adaptation) measure like building or elevating a coastal levee is not necessary. So, of the three definitions cited, I see (1) as mitigation and (2) and (3) as adaptation. Suggest checking with recent IPCC documents, the upcoming National Climate Assessment, the mission statement of the Societal Interactions/Adaptation Program within the NOAA Climate Program Office, etc to see how they define these terms. The areas of in-house scientific expertise were a little vague. It was difficult to evaluate to what extent, collaborations with external experts would be necessary and beneficial to a team effort on a particular project. It was unclear to what extent MARI would work with other centers of adaptation (NYC, Dade Co., Fl, New Orleans….) where there is emerging experience that could be profitably shared and advanced among groups with similar issues.
  • Unsure if MARI's goal is to provide locally-relevant research; unsure how MARI's work can overcome lack of political will in Virginia to tackle climate change.
  • If underfunded or undersupported by the university, it will be difficult to gain traction and produce results
  • Funding and politics always seem to find a way to dilute the mission. Retain a focus on the science, technology, and real solutions. State so aggressively up front! And, there's plenty of work to be done right here in Hampton Roads so make our region another focus. Let other regions follow our lead. Don't wait/rely on the Fed to solve the dilemma.
  • MARI seems to cold-test the problems of climate control and not consider this city has done a lot of reasearch in the past 15 years and has a wonderful Emergency Response Team and Preparedness staff in place already.
  • We - them.
  • Not reaching far enough beyond Norfolk and the immediate vicinity. MARI can effectively network with other groups to leverage a larger geographic reach.
  • I fear that MARI, as a program within a state university, might experience political interference by climate skeptics as well as by other public officials and business interests who might consider the harsh truth of sea level rise as bad for business.
  • Need more educational partnerships in the area for all institutions of higher learning in the Hampton Roads region, not just Old Dominion University.
  • Need a stable financial support that is indipendent on fluctuating external grants, and more recognition in the scientific community.
  • involvement and relevance for rural communities in coastal VA. Seems to largely focus on urban adaptation issues while having lesser focus on rural adaptation issues.
  • Few scientists outside ODU have been asked for their viewpoints on SLR. Little incentive for them to become active in MARI.
  • From a leadership standpoint, academia may be dismissed as the right place to lead change, even in a regional manner.
  • The ability of MARI to engage stakeholders and the level and timing of stakeholder input are not clear. At this stage of the debate about cliamte change and SLR, the stakeholders need to be involved from the beginning of the research and information-gathering process rather than handed information after the fact and told to act on it or to consider acting on it. It needs to be more clearly defined as to how MARI will effectively communicate its work to decision makers and the public. Ideas for doing so are discussed in the proposal, but a strategy is not clear. It's a giant lost opportunity to not develop such a strategy in concert with the rest of MARI's work. This lost opportunity is a mistake made many times in the past and one that continues to be made regarding science-based and policy-based research of climate change, its impacts, ad how to prepare and respond. MARI's mission statement should include an explanation of MARI's communication role/objective.
  • Large task ahead of us in Hampton Roads. All area stakeholders identified (and yet to be identified) will need to be involved and remain involved. Ever evolving challenges.

Total Responses: 36

17. Please provide any other general comments about MARI:

Text Response

  • No comment
  • Ignore urban stormwater runoff rain events, but don't ignore rain events that contribute to riverine flooding. If inland flooding is becoming a more common occurence as is flooding from sea level rise, you will want to be cognizant of opportunities to address that as well.
  • None
  • You need to hire a PhD with experience as a base commander and a military strategic planner. Even better if he/she has first hand adaptation experience, has participated in development of state and local adaptation policies, and has experience informing the business community on adaptation.
  • MARI can serve as a resource and provide a forum to discuss issues referenced on a previous page related to flooding from rain and hurricanes, regional coordination, preparedness and prevention, and EM decision making but the decision making, and strategies developed and implemented to address issues need to be accomplished at the local level.
  • Under Commonwealth partnerships, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Department of Conservation and Recreation - Floodplain Management need to be considered, as both will be key players moving forrward. Also, while it is great that ODU is working to find their niche on this issue, I think that ODU needs to work closely with the other university players in the region, and this relationship needs to be reflected in MARI. The region as a whole will benefit more from a cohesive, unified effort than each group doing their own thing, but to be successful, the universities must form a true partnership on this issue.
  • Include the Army Corps of Engineers predictive sea level/storm modeling maps.
  • Looking forward to the next 2 years of working closely together.
  • Seems like a good idea
  • Unless MARI intends to align their efforts with other organizations, the PDC, and academic/research initiatives in Virginia - the resulting work will lead to confusion among stakeholders - there is a need for collaboration from the start - not ODU as the leader who makes all decisions.
  • It could be a forum for ngos and regional governments to coordinate solutions, responses.
  • Keep pushing forward recognizing that as long as our nose hurts, we are falling in the right direction.
  • I am very interested in programs that put a price on carbon emissions as a mechanism to mitigate climate change. Adaptation is at best an interim measure albeit important depending on the threats.
  • As noted above, it will be important to settle on a clear and generally accepted definition of mitigation and adaptation so everyone is speaking the same language. The outreach and collaborations will be very important. This includes international connections where a lot of work on adaptation is occurring. It is mentioned that there will be international representation on the Science Advisory Board but beyond that, the international aspects are only lightly touched on. These types of connections also will help to elevate the stature and influence of MARI. I'm guessing that topics like marine ecosystems are not high on the agenda but the Institute will want to be flexible as it matures and new priorities emerge.
  • Bravo on launching this much-needed regional initiative!
  • Thanks for standing it up, I believe it's exactly what's needed.
  • none
  • Great timely initiative.
  • MARI may be the best solution serving Hampton Roads and local interests
  • Think this is a great idea with lots of promise. Key will be to increase influence through rational and scientifically backed research that differs from the rest of the scientific community in regards to actionability of research.
  • MARI can provide great value in Hampton Roads, in Virginia, and perhaps even more broadly. MARI should carefully consider the niche it can serve in advancing efforts of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Opportunities to engage the different types of decision makers necessary to make such progress can be a great beenfit that MARI provides, but it will take MARI playing a very active role in getting the various decision makers to participate in meaningful ways.

Total Responses: 21