Community Resiliency

Delaware Coastal Hazards and Coastal Resiliency

Delaware’s coastal and waterfront towns are facing increasing risk of flooding, erosion and coasta hazards such as northeasters, hurricanes, and rip currents.  These challenges can threaten local tourism, coastal development, water-dependent commercial operations and the futures of the communities themselves.

The University of Delaware’s Sustainable Coastal Communities, Sea Grant College Program, and the Institute for Public Administration partner with the state Delaware’s local governments to understand, plan for and reduce these risks.

Working with local governments
  • A recent partnership is the Community Flood Map Visualization Project with Sea Grant, the US Geological Service, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The Sussex County towns of Fenwick Island, South Bethany, Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach, Pot Nets, Long Neck, Oak Orchard, Lewes, Milford and Broadkill Beach can visualize what a 100-year-flood event looks like throughout their communities.
  • Working with partners, the City of Lewes has made significant planning progress in mitigating natural hazards and adapting to climate change. Local officials and residents have been engaged throughout this process in developing a plan to improve community sustainability and resilience. Learn more. 
  • The Sea Grant program was a partner with Delaware City and others in developing a Hazard Mitigation and Climate Mitigation Adaptation Plan.

Delaware communities are susceptible to a variety of natural hazards. Additionally, communities face an increasing degree of uncertainty related to the impacts that future climatic conditions may have on their areas.

The Natural Hazard and Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit for Delaware Communities was developed to assist communities in identifying planning, mitigation and adaptation opportunities that will help reduce vulnerabilities to natural hazards and climate impacts. It was published in April 2014 by the Delaware Sea Grant Program.

The PDF is available by clicking on the photo at left.  Hard copies are available upon request from Wendy Carey, Coastal Hazards Specialist, at



More than 80 major storms have threatened Delaware’s coast over the past three decades, putting lives and property at risk. In October 2012, Delaware narrowly missed the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. The Homeonwers Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards guides residents on practical measures that can keep them safe and minimize damage to homes and property.

A PDF is available by clicking on the photo at left. Hard copies are available upon request from Wendy Carey, Coastal Hazards Specialist, at