S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

South Carolina Resilience Planning Glossary

This glossary explains the data fields and types of reports included in the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s archive of recent South Carolina resilience planning documents. Please email any questions or feedback to matthew.gorstein@scseagrant.org.

Affordable Housing

This field indicates whether a plan includes any consideration of affordable housing.

Climate Vulnerability Plan

  • Climate Vulnerability Plans focus specifically on the potential impacts of future climate scenarios, and may consider ways to mitigate them. These plans include climate action plans and sea-level rise studies.
  • The “Future Conditions Considered?” field in the archive seeks to provide some guidance whether future environmental scenarios are included in plans, including those not specifically focused on climate vulnerability.
  • There are no specific requirements for Climate Vulnerability Plans, but climate vulnerability may be a required element in certain types of plans, such as recent and upcoming Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Plans and Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) Mitigation Needs Assessments.

Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Plan

  • The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) is managed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and funds are issued to states, counties and municipalities for use in creating housing, suitable living conditions, and economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons.
  • In 2018, Congress approved funding for CDBG – Mitigation projects designed to reduce disaster risks for qualifying disasters in 2015, 2016, and 2017. To be eligible, proposals must include an Action Plan with a Mitigation Needs Assessment that includes consideration of current and future disaster risks which provides a basis for the activities proposed.
  • The S.C. CDBG Program provides grants to county and municipal governments that do not receive grants directly from HUD and is administered by the S.C. Department of Commerce.

Comprehensive Plan

  • Counties and municipalities develop Comprehensive Plans that encompass zoning and land use regulations for community development.
  • State law requires the creation of local and county comprehensive planning commissions, and lays out elements to be included in the plans. Plans must be evaluated every five (5) years and updated every 10 years. The plans typically cover a 10-to-20-year future planning period.

Economic Development Plan

  • Economic Development Plans are created to coordinate resources to help meet communities’ economic development goals. Economic Development Plans are often created by state, regional, county, and municipal governments.
  • The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development is chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and is includes 10 other state agency heads involved in economic development. The Council’s staff administer various economic development funds, including state grants, the Enterprise Zone, the International Trade Incentives and the Agricultural Products Increase Tax Credit programs; and the federal Community Development Block Grant and Appalachian Regional Commission.
  • South Carolina’s 10 Councils of Governments (COGs) play an important role in regional and local economic development planning. COGs develop regional plans, assist local governments in developing plans, and utilize resources from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
  • The Appalachian Regional Commission is required by state law to develop multi-year plans “to innovate, partner, and invest to build community investment in jobs, infrastructure, education and training while considering the needs to protect natural resources, and strengthen communities.”
  • Economic development planning is required by state law as a component of county and municipal Comprehensive Plans.

Emergency Management Plan

  • Emergency Management plans seek to coordinate resources for government responses to emergencies, such as natural and human-caused disasters.
  • The S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) provides state plans for Hazard Mitigation, Emergency Operations, and Disaster Recovery, as well as guidelines for county plans.
  • State law requires counties to maintain an Emergency Management Agency and review/revise an Emergency Management Plan at least every three (3) years that is coordinated and consistent with the state plan.

Floodplain Management Plan

  • Floodplain Management Plans assess flood risk and include actions to mitigate flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires communities to meet specific standards for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • More than 1,500 communities nationwide participate in the voluntary Community Rating System, which recognizes and encourages floodplain management practices that go beyond NFIP requirements.

Forestry Plan

  • Forestry Plans are created to guide the management of forests for conservation, resource planning, recreation, and other goals.
  • The S.C. Forestry Commission is responsible for administering Forest Management Policy, including restrictions on burning, and has provided guidance to local governments on best practices for incorporating forestry planning into their mandated Comprehensive Plans.
  • While not required, Forestry Plans may be developed by local governments and private landowners.

Future Conditions Considered?

  • This field indicates whether a plan discusses any consideration of future changes in environmental conditions, such as climate change and sea-level rise.

Green Infrastructure Plan

  • Green Infrastructure Plans seek to incorporate natural resources and constructed nature-based systems into resilience planning efforts, including plans to mitigate flooding and water pollution.
  • In the 2019 Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, Congress defined green infrastructure as “the range of measures that use plant or soil systems, permeable pavement or other permeable surfaces or substrates, stormwater harvest and reuse, or landscaping to store, infiltrate, or evapotranspirate stormwater and reduce flows to sewer systems or to surface waters.”
  • There may be green infrastructure elements in reports categorized here as Stormwater or Floodplain Management Plans. Other types of reports that may incorporate green infrastructure include local plans for managing parks, beaches, and marshes. There are no requirements for Green Infrastructure Plans, but green infrastructure is increasingly an important best practice in Stormwater and Floodplain Management planning.

Hazard Mitigation Plan

  • Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMPs) seek to reduce loss of life and property to disasters by identifying risks and developing long-term strategies to mitigate them. HMPs are developed by local, state, and tribal authorities.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires HMPs as a condition of eligibility for certain grants and public assistance, and the plans expire after five (5) years. This map provides the development status, approval date, expiration date, and other information for each county and municipality.


  • This field indicates which types of hazards are considered. Each plan is coded based on keyword searches for eight hazard types, which are abbreviated and separated by commas. The eight hazard types are listed below:
    • C = Cold Weather Events
    • D = Drought
    • F = Flooding (e.g., tidal, non-named storms)
    • H = Heat
    • L = Land Changes (e.g., erosion, earthquakes)
    • S = Storms (e.g., tropical cyclones, tornados)
    • T = Technological/Human-Caused (e.g., traffic collisions, hazardous waste)
    • W = Wildfire

Organization Type

  • This field categorizes the entity that published a report.
  • Categories include: County, Federal Agency, Municipal Association, Municipality, NGO, Region, State Agency.
    • Municipal Associations are associations of municipalities.
    • NGOs are non-governmental organizations.
    • “Region” typically refers to a regional Council of Governments (COG).

Resilience Plan

  • Resilience Plans seek to account for changing environmental conditions to inform overall governmental preparedness planning.
  • Some of the larger municipalities and counties in South Carolina have completed Resilience Plans, but there are not currently any state or federal requirements to do so.
  • The S.C. Office of Resilience (SCOR) is currently developing the first statewide Resilience Plan.

Stormwater Management Plan

Transportation Plan

  • Transportation Plans are designed to guide the development and safe management of roads, public transit, railroads, and other modes of transportation.
  • State transportation planning is led by the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT), which updates its statewide plans every five (5) years.
  • South Carolina’s 10 Councils of Governments (COGs) also develop regional Transportation Plans that are incorporated into the statewide plan.
  • Transportation planning is an important part of local comprehensive plans required by state law. Local jurisdictions may also develop standalone transportation plans but are not required to do so. State law also establishes requirements for the creation of regional transportation authorities, which must operate in a manner consistent with state and local transportation plans.

Wildlife Management Plan

  • Wildlife Management Plans are developed to conserve wildlife habitats. South Carolina’s State Wildlife Action Plan is managed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
  • Local jurisdictions are not required to develop dedicated Wildlife Management Plans, but wildlife is often included as an element in other planning processes.