22 Sep 2011

US programme to help Pacific with science-based coastal planning

6:18 pm on 22 September 2011

One of the aims of a United States government programme to map coastal hazards is to help US-affiliated Pacific Islands cope better with disasters.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Storms Program works to reduce loss of life and other negative impacts of coastal storms.

The regional coordinator says over the next couple of years researchers in American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Guam, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia will map the likes of storm surges.

Dolan Eversole says the mapping can work out what happens when the sea level rises.

"In lieu of access to information often times decisions are made based on what they know or perceive to be the situation and many cases around the Pacific and around the world for that matter you see in hindsight what appears to be a poorly-planned development or poorly-planned project."

Dolan Eversole says another aim of the programme is to give Pacific Island countries not affiliated with the US access to the same information.