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Keeping North Carolina's Farms and Forests Vibrant and Resilient: An Adaptive Management Planning Strategy

June 2015

The North Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Adaptation Work Group (NC-Adapt) has found that climate change risks to North Carolina’s agriculture and forestry industries warrant expanded and accelerated adaptive management planning. In this report, NC-Adapt reviews summarized climate impacts for the sectors, and outlines an adaptive management plan to improve agriculture and forestry resiliency and economic viability.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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North Carolina Sea Level Rise Assessment Report - 2015 Update

March 31, 2015

This report responds to a charge from the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) specifying that sea level rise (SLR) projections be developed for a 30- year timeframe - and to the N. C. General Assembly Session Law 2012-202 (which prevented the CRC from taking any regulatory action before July 1, 2016).  Sea level is rising along the entire coast of North Carolina, and the variation in the extent of localized sea level rise and causes of variation are described. The report describes sea level rise dynamics, the use of tide gauges, future projections of SLR in North Carolina, and how to make sense of these predictions - in an approachable fashion.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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North Carolina Climate and Health Profile: Building Resilience Against Climate Effects

2015

North Carolina is one of 16 states who have been funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) grant program since 2010. As part of the BRACE framework, this Climate and Health Profile report describes the leading climate-related risks and their associated public health impacts in the state.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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North Carolina Sea-Level Rise Assessment Report

March 2010

In March 2010, the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission's (CRC's) Science Panel on Coastal Hazards released this report estimating the extent of land on the North Carolina coast that will be covered by sea-level rise over this century. After explaining how sea-level rise can be assessed and measured, the report provides estimates for sea-level rise through the years 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2100. It concludes with recommendations to make improvements in sea-level monitoring as a first step to adaptation planning.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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North Carolina 2020 Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan

June 2, 2020

The North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan is the state’s first climate change adaptation plan. It includes the results of vulnerability assessments within 11 critical sectors, climate justice concerns and strategies, and recommendations for nature-based solutions to enhance ecosystem resiliency and sequester carbon in the state’s natural and working lands. North Carolina Governor Cooper’s 2018 Executive Order 80 directed state agencies to integrate climate adaptation and resiliency planning into their policies, programs, and operations; and mandated that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) lead the development of this climate risk assessment and resiliency plan for the state.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Post-Disaster Community Investments in Lumberton Through the North Carolina State Acquisition and Relocation Fund for Buyout Relocation Assistance

2020

Lumberton, North Carolina provides one example of how state funding for relocation assistance can help support local buyouts and community investments in underserved areas. In 2016, the small community of Lumberton was devastated by Hurricane Matthew when the Lumber River flooded over 870 households, as well as a number of businesses. As the city was beginning to recover, only two years later, Lumberton was hit a second time by Hurricane Florence, resulting in damage to over 500 structures. As of 2019, Lumberton is seeking to leverage several grants and funding programs, including North Carolina’s State Acquisition and Relocation Fund (SARF), to rebuild the community and provide residents with relocation assistance to obtain new homes in Lumberton through a state-local partnership. Specifically, with funding from SARF, the local government is considering opportunities to invest in new homes in one existing, but underserved neighborhood of Lumberton that can offer safer homes for bought-out residents. As SARF and the ongoing work in Lumberton demonstrate, state and local governments can support voluntary, post-disaster transitions of people and minimize negative impacts to individuals, communities, and local tax bases from buyouts by reinvesting in underserved areas within their municipalities. 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: Floodplain Buyout Program

July 15, 2020

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSS) — a county-wide regional utility in North Carolina — has been administering a Floodplain Buyout Program to relocate vulnerable residents out of floodplains and reduce long-term flood damage. The buyout program is focused on risk reduction and flood mitigation best practices, where once bought out, properties are returned to open space uses to restore their natural beneficial flood retention and water quality improvement functions and provide other community amenities, like parks and trails. CMSS has purchased more than 400 flood-prone homes and businesses and enabled over 700 families and businesses to relocate to less vulnerable locations outside of the floodplain. CMSS has also supported a number of leaseback arrangements on a case-by-case basis with property owners to increase participation in the buyout program and reduce the county’s property maintenance costs. The program has been funded through a combination of federal and local government sources, with leasebacks also supporting the recapture of some costs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Floodplain Buyout Program is an example of a nationally recognized approach to supporting voluntary retreat in a riverine floodplain. Other local governments could consider adopting a comprehensive buyout program like Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s or individual program elements, like local funding options or leasebacks, to help support voluntary retreat decisions in coastal areas experiencing sea-level rise, impacts from disaster events, and land loss. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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Organization

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.

 

 

Organization

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. .