What is The RAFT?

The Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool (The RAFT) is an innovative “collective impact” collaborative approach to climate resilience that leverages the expertise and resources of multidisciplinary partners and diverse stakeholders to assist coastal localities striving to increase their resilience.

Coastal resilience is the capacity to anticipate threats, reduce the community’s vulnerability, and respond to and recover from hazardous events and chronic stresses. A community can be vulnerable as a result of its physical location and infrastructure, but social factors within the community, such as access to transportation or medical fragility, can also increase vulnerability. A resilient community, on the other hand, is one that is able to adapt, endure, and thrive in the face of change, uncertainty, and adversity. From hurricane preparedness to appropriate land-use policies to infrastructure protection systems, there are many programmatic and planning steps localities can take to increase their resilience.

The RAFT offers a year-long process in which localities are:

1) provided an independent assessment of their resilience, using The RAFT Scorecard;

2) engaged in a community leadership workshop where participants discuss the locality’s strengths and opportunities, and develop a Resilience Action Checklist of actions that will make a difference in community resilience and that can be completed and/or initiated within one year; and

3) supported through one year of implementation by The RAFT university collaborative.

The RAFT three-part process is supported through a mix of federal, state, and private foundation grants and donated services, and is provided at no cost to localities.

To learn more about The RAFT and its community-driven process please see this orientation video.

To view or share a one-pager on The RAFT process and its value to communities, please download this PDF.

Onancock, Virginia

Image Credit: Patrick J. Hendrickson / Highcamera.com


This website, Task # 92.03 was funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Department of Environmental Quality through Grant # NA17NOS4190152 
of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended. The views expressed
herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, or any of its subagencies.

This project is currently a partnership between the Institute for Engagement & Negotiation at the University of Virginia, the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience at Old Dominion University, and the Center for Coastal Studies at Virginia Tech. The former Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the William & Mary Law School participated in this partnership from 2015 until June 2023.


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