Coastal Climate and Resilience Program
Coastal South Carolina residents face a variety of weather- and climate-related hazards, including hurricanes, storm surge, beach erosion, and coastal flooding.
The Coastal Climate and Resilience specialists at the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium work to increase community resilience in the face of natural hazards, as well as develop, evaluate, and provide information on the impact of climate change on Coastal Carolina.
Partners include the Charleston Resilience Network, College of Charleston Lowcountry Hazards Center, and the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) Program, a NOAA supported program housed at the University of South Carolina.
South Carolina Resilience Planning
The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium is working to compile a comprehensive survey of resilience planning efforts across South Carolina, including state agencies, counties, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, colleges and universities, and private companies.
Recent Projects in Coastal Climate and Resilience
Beaufort County Adapts: Sea Level Impacts Beneath Our Feet
Beaufort County, with partners at the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, University of South Carolina, College of Charleston and S.C. Department of Natural Resources are engaging communities to monitor and characterize groundwater height and salinity to better understand the complex nature of how man-made infrastructure and social systems related to community function are impacted by changes brought about by sea level rise. The results will inform the development of impact timelines based on climate and sea level rise projections, giving decision-makers and residents a deep understanding of when changes to infrastructure and behavior are needed.
South Carolina’s New Water Level Monitoring Initiative
The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the College of Charleston, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, and the S.C. Beach Advocates is supporting water level monitoring initiative that has resulted in seven new water level gauges installed along the state’s coast, as well as seven gauges in North Carolina.
Kiawah Island Groundwater Monitoring and Marsh Vulnerability Studies
The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the Kiawah Conservancy, Town of Kiawah Island, and the Lowcountry Hazards Center at the College of Charleston, is conducting two projects on Kiawah Island: one focused on monitoring the island’s groundwater table and another focused on studying the vulnerability of the island’s marsh habitat.
Town of Edisto Beach Flooding and Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment
The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium (SCSGC), Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA), and College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Hazards Center (LCHC) assessed Edisto Beach’s vulnerability to flooding and sea level rise using a variety of methods. SCSGC and LCHC developed a high-resolution flood model to assess vulnerability to properties and roads. SCSGC and CISA conducted workshops with town staff and residents to describe current challenges and experiences with flooding, and to identify concerns for the future.
Susceptibility of Public Health Impacts from Flooded Water, Wastewater, and Public Health Infrastructure
This project assessed vulnerability to extreme events and rising sea levels by identifying the populations most susceptible to public health risks from infrastructure failure due to flooding. With input from municipal managers, health system managers, water utility specialists, health care experts, state agency managers, and others, the project developed an assessment tool to allow other communities to conduct similar assessments.