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New Resiliency Grant Addresses Future Flooding in Charleston Region

Jun 24, 2016 | News

A grant awarded to the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium on behalf of the Charleston Resilience Network (CRN) seeks to help communities plan for and adapt to the area’s increasing flood challenges.

The $510,319 Regional Coastal Resilience Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the Consortium “will support the development of more robust and localized flooding models that can be used to plan infrastructure improvements in the Charleston, S.C. region,” according to Rick DeVoe, executive director of the Consortium and program manager of the award.

Researchers from College of Charleston, University of South Carolina, and The Citadel will collaborate with the CRN and the Consortium on the three-year project. The non-federal match of $255,568 brings the total grant award to $765,887.

The mapping will examine the ability of fast-growing, low-lying neighborhoods to absorb flood impacts and build resiliency to flooding. The flood maps will focus down to the parcel level, factoring in new data on storm drains and sewer lines, the impacts of severe high tides and heavy bursts of rain, and on how the topography influences the movement of water, according to Norman Levine, Ph.D., who will lead the mapping effort.

NOAA’s Regional Coastal Resilience Grants emphasize regional-scale projects that enhance the resilience of coastal communities and economies. By leveraging the capabilities of CRN members and partners, this project will advance the collaborative approach necessary to understand vulnerabilities, educate stakeholders, and foster a unified strategy.

The resiliency grant’s lead investigators are Levine and Elizabeth Fly, Ph.D., coastal climate extension specialist with the Consortium.

The second component of the project will focus on engaging neighborhoods in discussions about the mapping information and its implications for planning and adapting to future flooding events.

The keys to this effort will be a series of CRN participatory workshops with stakeholders, to be led by Fly, and the expansion of the South Carolina Coastal Information Network web portal, created by the Consortium and local, state, and federal partners to provide a one-stop location to find coastal-related information of interest to local communities. The website is currently being updated to enhance simple navigation through the extensive library of flooding and resiliency information, tools, and resources, which will be available at www.sccoastalinfo.org . To learn more about the CRN, visit www.charlestonresilience.org .