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CCAMP: Open Pacific Coast Study

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is performing  detailed coastal engineering analysis and mapping of the Pacific coast of California in accordance with FEMA’s February 2005 Pacific guidelines for new coastal studies which are included in Appendix D of the Guidelines and Specifications for Flood Hazard Mapping Partners.  Results from the OPC Study will be used to remap the coastal flood risk and wave hazards for the following fifteen California counties:brochure inset_opc.jpg

FEMA’s coastal mapping efforts benefit from new technologies and coastal data contributed by a consortium of Federal and State agencies, academic institutions, and private sector consultants.  The OPC Study will be based on new high-resolution bathymetric and topographic data for the entire California coast acquired from the California Ocean Protection Council and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

A series of kick-off meetings were conducted in all fifteen coastal counties to initiate the Discovery process.   The goal of the Discovery process is to work closely with communities to better understand the local flood risk and mitigation efforts, and to encourage and support actions taken to increase resilience to flooding. The final kick-off meeting took place in Orange County in January 2012, with a web-based meeting held on January 26, 2012 for community stakeholders who were not able to participate in person.  Another webinar was held on June 6, 2012 to introduce the OPC Study to interested Federal, state, regional, and local entities, as well as non-profit and private sector organizations.

To stay up the date with the OPC Study, sign up for our quarterly bulletin, Coastal Beat that will include schedule updates, technical articles and facts of interest, as well as relevant information as the study progresses.

To download the OPC brochure, click here.

To download the OPC Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

To download the CCAMP Townhall presentation from the 2012 Floodplain Management Association, click here

To download the Outreach for Coastal Communities webinar presentation from November 2012, click here.

To download the Open Pacific Coast Study Coastal Analysis Update webinar presentation from February 2013, click here.

To download the Advantages for Coastal Communities Participating in FEMA’s CRS Program webinar presentation from October 2013, click here.

To download the Coastal Analysis Results to Mapping webinar presentation from July 2015, click here.

To download the Flood Risk Products webinar presentation from June 2016, click here.

To download the Wave Overtopping Technical Analysis and Mapping webinar presentation from March 2017, click here.


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    For decades, the Local Coastal Programs (LCPs) that govern land use along the California coastline were focused on conservation and recreation, but not mitigation. That’s changing thanks to a state grant program that has made millions of dollars available for local communities to update their LCPs, with priority given to those that address sea-level rise, increasing erosion, and other effects of climate change.

  • Analyzing and Mapping Wave Overtopping in FEMA Coastal Flood Studies

    Wave overtopping is a common coastal hazard and source of flooding along the Pacific coast. During severe coastal storms, high waves and wave runup can overtop coastal barriers including bluffs, dunes, seawalls, revetments, and beach berms. When this happens, the overtopping water floods the area immediately behind the barrier. In some cases, the overtopping water has enough energy and force to damage structures, including homes. Therefore, analysis of wave overtopping is typically an important part of a detailed coastal flood study. It is also useful for communities to understand the process of wave overtopping so they can identify where it is included on their coastal flood maps. Learn more about some of the physical aspects of wave overtopping, how it was analyzed and why it was mapped in the California Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project (CCAMP) Open Pacific Coast (OPC) Study in this article.

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