Adaptation Options: Spending Programs


Acquisitions and Buyout Programs

These programs acquire property at risk from flooding or other hazards. Structures are typically demolished and the property is restored. Undeveloped lands are conserved as open space, public parks, or for natural resources.

Governments could extend use buyout programs for properties threatened by climate change and could prioritize for acquisition vulnerable properties with high natural resource value. Governments could prioritize for acquisition lands with potential to serve as flood or erosion buffers for existing development and potential to serve as corridors for migrating beaches and wetlands.

Conservation Easements

Conservation easements provide a flexible mechanism by which public entities can preserve land in its natural state while allowing land to remain in private ownership. Landowners grant an easement agreeing to restrict development of the land often for compensation or tax benefits.

Governments could prioritize acquisition of easements on properties vulnerable to climate change and acquire conservation easements to ensure preservation of lands that could serve as flood or erosion buffers, habitat, or migration corridors.

Rolling Conservation Easements

This type of conservation is not fixed, but is a moving or rolling boundary that is designed to preserve the ability of the shoreline to migrate inland.

Rolling easements could be used to purchase any rights that landowner may have to construct coastal armoring and to require owners to remove structures that become threatened by rising seas and erosion while allowing for some upland development of the property.


Date modified: 2022-12-06