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Impacts of Global Warming on North Carolina's Coastal Economy

June 21, 2007

A scientific study was undertaken by researchers at four North Carolina universities to consider three aspects of the state's coastal economy and their vulnerability to a changing climate including: the impacts of sea-level rise on the coastal real estate market, the impacts of sea-level rise on coastal recreation and tourism, and the impacts of stronger tropical storms and hurricanes on business activity. The study used a range of moderate  assumptions, not best- or worst-case scenarios. This brief summary brochure is designed to present the main findings of the study for the benefit of the public and policy makers.

Resource Category: Assessments


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Department of the Interior (DOI): South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC)

The South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) is one of 21 LCCs established by Secretarial Order No. 3289, which focus on on-the-ground strategic conservation efforts at the landscape level. LCCs are management-science partnerships that inform integrated resource-management actions addressing climate change and other stressors within and across landscapes.  




Institute for Coastal Science and Policy (East Carolina University)

The Institute for Coastal Science and Policy (ICSP) works to understand North Carolina coastal systems so that the problems and opportunities associated with them can be addressed. Research in the Institute concentrates on four main areas and their interrelationships including coastal ecology, coastal geoscience, social science, and public policy.   One objective of the Institute is to develop methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives that advance the understanding of the coastal environment and human systems, drawing on emerging technologies and conceptual tools such as systems and network theory, geographic information sciences, and computer-based modeling.




NOAA Office for Coastal Management

The Office for Coastal Management (OCM) is tasked with implementing the Coastal Zone Management Act. OCM activities include working with states and territories to conserve and protect coral reefs, operating a system of National Estuarine Research Reserves, and developing a system of marine protected areas.




North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission

The Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC, was created when the General Assembly adopted the Coastal Area Management Act in 1974. The CRC establishes policies for the N. C. Coastal Management Program and adopts implementing rules for both CAMA and the N. C. Dredge and Fill Act. The commission designates areas of environmental concern, adopts rules and policies for coastal development within those areas, and certifies local land-use plans. .




Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center

The Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center is one of eight regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) under the Department of the Interior (DOI) managed by the U. S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Climate Adaptation Science Center. The mission of the Centers and National CASC is to "deliver science to help fish, wildlife, water, land, and people adapt to a changing climate. " CASCs provide the tools that managers need to develop and implement strategies that address the impacts of climate change on natural and cultural resources.




Southeast Regional Climate Center

The Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) is one of six regional centers in the U. S. managed by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. The SERCC is housed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was created in response to an assessment that identified various user needs for regional climate services in the Southeast. The SERCC serves Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands. The mission of the SERCC is to provide timely, high quality, and pertinent climate data and information to public and private users in the region.




Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF)

The Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) is a non-profit organization consisting of State Foresters from Alabama, Arkansas, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U. S. Virgin Islands, and Virginia. SGSF provides leadership in sustaining the economic, environmental and social benefits of the forests of the Southeast, and works to identify and address existing and emerging issues and challenges that are important to southern forests and citizens.




State Climate Office of North Carolina

The State Climate Office (SCO) of North Carolina is the primary source for state weather and climate information and is involved in all aspects of climate research, education, and extension services. The mission of the SCO is to provide climate related services to the state, local and federal agencies, businesses and the citizens of North Carolina.




Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI)

The mission of the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) is to identify the state’s ever-changing research needs, to motivate and support research by qualified scientists, and to provide for technology transfer.