Validation and Peer Review of Working Group Findings

Prior to formal, external review the preliminary findings were validated through the use of two risk assessment workshops with coastal municipalities: Workshops for the Evaluation of Current and Future Risks in the Coastal Zone. 30 of the 44 coastal municipalities of Puerto Rico attended with representatives from planning offices, emergency managers, and public works officers (figure 4). The PRCCC coordinators presented the preliminary findings and through a series of facilitated small group discussions the participants confirmed the main climate stressors impacting important sectors of their municipalities (e.g., infrastructure assets, economic development areas, and natural resources); further quantified the magnitude and likelihood of impacts occurring for the features assessed; and discussed the linkages between island-wide concepts and municipal realities. Additionally, the last session of each workshop was devoted to the brainstorming of adaptation strategies by sectors identified as the most important by the workshop participants. Multiple organizations assisted with these workshops. Namely, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, the Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System, the Sierra Club, University of Puerto Rico, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Nature Conservancy.

prmap1Figure 4 The PRCCC conducted two Workshops for the Evaluation of Current and Future Risks in the Coastal Zone. These 30 municipalities attended on either March 6th or March8th, 2012.

After the municipal review and subsequent revisions the PRCCC extended invitations through a number of different channels to international, national and local scientists and practitioners to review the working group reports in different rounds. The call for reviews went out on a monthly basis from April 2012 to July 2012. After receiving multiple external reviews the PRCCC members received updated review drafts of the individual working group chapters and from June to July 2012 PRCCC members had another opportunity to revise their reports. An in-person meeting of the PRCCC was conducted on June 29th, 2012 in Carolina to revise the report further. Dozens of reviews were received for each working group report in which the report co-authors and editors made the appropriate corrections. The last part of the review process was a solicitation of comments and recommendations from the Secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources to Puerto Rico’s universities and professional associations. Formal letters were sent April 30th, 2013 requesting report reviews by June 3, 2013. The universities and professional associations solicited were the University of Turabo, the Catholic University of Ponce including the Architecture School, the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), including the Department of Marine Sciences, School of Engineering, and School of Architecture, the Metropolitan University (UMET), the Puerto Rico Planning Society, Puerto Rico Association of Chemists, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, the Institute of Architects and Landscape Architects of Puerto Rico, the Association of Architects and Landscape Architects of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Institute of Surveyors, and the Association of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico. Three letters with comments were received from the UPR School of Engineering, the UPR Mayaguez Campus, and the Ponce Catholic University of Puerto Rico.