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September 19, 2017

Annapolis to Host Next Edition of ‘Keeping History Above Water’


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The Newport Restoration Foundation and the City of Annapolis have announced that the official program for the second Keeping History Above Water conference has been finalized to take place on October 29 – November 1, 2017 in Annapolis, Maryland. The City of Annapolis will be hosting this

The City of Annapolis will be hosting this international gathering of preservation, economic development, and military and scientific experts to advance knowledge as communities around the world prepare for the impact of rising tides, sea level rise, and land subsidence.

With the support of Newport Restoration Foundation, who developed and organized the first Keeping History Above Water conference in April 2016 in Newport, Rhode Island, the second conference will advance the discussion of climate heritage and sea level rise as the event now travels to other coastal communities that face similar issues.

The Newport Restoration Foundation selected the City of Annapolis as the next conference host because of the city’s leadership in the multi-year initiative, Weather It Together: Protecting Our Historic Seaport Community. This initiative includes the development of a cultural resource hazard mitigation plan and implementation strategies to reduce the risk of damage or loss to private and public properties most vulnerable to the effects of rising tides. In 2016, Annapolis was named one of ten cities selected to be part of the National League of Cities Leadership in Community Resilience Program, and was recognized by the Maryland Historical Trust for Excellence in Community Engagement. The City includes a National Historic Landmark District and is home to many historic and cultural assets.

Keeping History Above Water: Annapolis will be held at the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel. The full conference program is now available online for viewing at www.historyabovewater.org and includes local tours, educational workshops, seven unique panel sessions, 16 poster sessions, and keynotes by Dr. David Guggenheim, Dr. William Sweet, and many others. The 2017 conference is supported by national and local sponsors such as the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Maryland Historical Trust, National Trust for Historic Preservation, SERVPRO, Annapolis/Severna Park, Urban Land Institute, and the National League of Cities.

The conference program will kick off with tours of the United States Naval Academy, City Dock, Smithsonian Environmental Science Center, and Spa Creek (by boat), followed by a public address and book signing at St. John’s College on Sunday, October 29, 2017. Phil Dyke, the Coast and Marine Advisor for the National Trust, UK, will address the topic of “When Cultural Landscapes and Natural Resources Collide.” Jeff Goodell, investigative journalist, contributing editor to Rolling Stone Magazine, and author of “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilized World,” will be available to sign books following his talk.

Conference sessions and panels begin on October 30 and include presentations on environmental histories and the future of heritage, disaster planning for historic properties, resilient landscapes, and other topics addressing the economic, educational, cultural, regulatory, and environmental elements of a vulnerable historic community. The first two days of the conference will include networking opportunities, poster sessions and formal presentations. They will be followed by a day of workshops featuring speakers from the City of Baltimore, the University of Florida, the Maryland Historical Trust, Maryland Department of the Environment, Digital Index of North American Archeology, Rhode Island School of Design, and others.

Conference registration is open and is expected to sell out quickly. All conference registrations must be completed by Monday, October 16, 2017. No on-site registration will be available. To register, please visit www.historyabovewater.org/2017-conference.

For information or questions about the conference, contact Anne Egan, 2017 Conference Manager at aegan@onpointmeetings.com.

The first edition of Keeping History Above Water: Newport was organized by the Newport Restoration Foundation in April 2016 to address the challenges posed to historic buildings and neighborhoods from sea level rise and increasing storm activity. The conference emphasized practical approaches to protecting historic built environments in both the near and long term, at individual building, infrastructure, and policy levels. Keeping History Above Water: Newport featured an international slate of panelists with expertise in climate science, a wide range of knowledge in heritage preservation, and experience in community organizing around this increasingly urgent global concern. Newport Restoration Foundation has an ongoing interest in advancing knowledge related to sea level rise, not just in Newport, but in other historic coastal communities across the country. NRF’s intent is to see Keeping History Above Water continue to advance public understanding and develop solutions through traveling each year to other vulnerable communities facing similar threats, expanding the conversation nationally and globally. For more information on the Newport Restoration Foundation, visit www.NewportRestoration.org.

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