North Carolina's Coasts in Crisis: A Vision for the Future

This report, prepared by two groups at East Carolina University, describes the risks that sea level rise poses for the North Carolina Coast.

The coastal system of North Carolina is widely varied, with rivers, swamps, estuaries, marshes, barrier islands, offshore shoals and rock, inlets and beaches. This spatial variety of NC coasts means that coastal management issues differ considerably by location.  This report suggests that planning for future coastal development must take place within the framework of this variance and known natural processes of change.

This white paper describes the coastal system, what is at risk, and the human responses to a changing coast related to infrastructure and beach management.  Adaptation recommendations are included - regarding limits to growth and type of development on migrating barrier islands in order to preserve the barrier island-based tourist/recreation economy and the natural resources upon which it is based.

Publication Date: October 2008

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • S.R. Riggs
  • S.J. Culver
  • D.V. Ames
  • D.J. Mallison
  • P.R. Corbett
  • J.P. Walsh

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

States Affected:


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