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Charleston Resilience Network Brings Stakeholders Together

Mar 25, 2018 | News

Two events in one day highlighted the multi-pronged approach of the Charleston Resilience Network (CRN) to educate stakeholders and enhance planning and preparation for episodic and chronic flooding events in the Charleston region.

A morning focus group session on March 1, 2018 at the College of Charleston’s Riley Center for Livable Communities bought together more than 30 representatives from neighborhood groups, businesses, and local governments to discuss coastal resiliency assessment and adaptation tools. The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, on behalf of the CRN, has received a National Infrastructure Protection Plan Security and Resilience Challenge contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to design tools for those targeted audiences.

Exhibitors shared information with about 50 local stakeholders during the Charleston Resilience Network Expo at the Historic Rice Mill in Charleston in early March. Photo by Joey Holleman, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

The takeaway from the session was that each sector has distinct needs. Municipal governments want tools that can synthesize information across departments and distribute it efficiently and in a timely manner. Businesses prefer an array of choices that allows them to select the tools that work best for their varied requirements. Neighborhoods want simple tools that can be understood by a wide crosssection of the public. These and other comments provided by the participants will factor into the approach the team will use to adapt and design tools tailored to the information needs of communities located throughout the Charleston region.

In the afternoon, nearly 50 coastal stakeholders gathered for the 2018 Charleston Resilience Network Expo at the Historic Rice Mill in Charleston. They strolled among, and talked with, exhibitors who have interests and programs related to coastal resilience preparation, response, and recovery.

The exhibitors included nonprofits that help conserve land and landscapes, engineering firms which design low-impact developments, private sector and academic institutions engaged in flood mapping, an ecosystem restoration company, an environmental justice organization, and Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments public transit representatives.

The Expo was the latest in a series of CRN networking projects designed to connect and coordinate municipal, neighborhood, nonprofit, and business groups involved in flood planning and adaptation. These efforts are funded by a Regional Coastal Resilience Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded to the Consortium, on behalf of the CRN, to enhance the region’s adaptive capacity.