Tribal Coastal Resilience Connections (TCRC)

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APNEP has partnered with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs (NCCIA) to implement a project designed to support tribal communities in the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed in considering climate resilience during community planning. The project was developed by APNEP in partnership with representatives from tribal communities in the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed and coastal plain and is designed to increase engagement between tribal organizations, government agencies, and university faculty, as well as to acknowledge the unique knowledge and cultural perspectives of tribal communities surrounding climate change impacts. [Map below adapted from Emanuel and Wilkins (2020) Water]

The project's overarching goal is protecting the environmental health of the waterways and natural resources in the Albemarle-Pamlico region, and the communities that live in, visit, and depend upon them.  Core project partners include the NCCIA, APNEP, Duke University, NC State University (NCSU), and the Virginia Coastal Policy Center. Other project advisors include the UNC American Indian Center, the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center.  Community engagement envisioned through the project includes workshops and other forums to share information on climate impacts and resilience planning strategies, and promotion of information sharing between tribal communities and resilience practitioners. Additionally, a graduate research assistant, under the guidance of Duke University faculty member and member of the Lumbee tribe Dr. Ryan Emanuel, will conduct an analysis to assess climate resilience planning and implementation projects by tribal governments and other tribal or inter-tribal organizations throughout the United States. 

After the completion of these initial phases of the project in 2021, the project team hopes to utilize these planning and assessment efforts to build capacity for developing resilience and adaptation strategies tailored to meet the unique needs of coastal plain tribal communities.  

The project is funded through supplemental funding awarded to APNEP from the Environmental Protection Agency.  In addition to the original award, APNEP is funding the Virginia Coastal Policy Center to coordinate with the tribal communities in the Albemarle region of Virginia. This project supports implementation of North Carolina’s Executive Order 80 and the State Climate Risk and Resiliency Plan, similar directives in Virginia, and APNEP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. 

In fall 2020, the project team, led by Beth Roach (Tribal Councilwoman with the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia), kicked off the project with the Tribal Coastal Resilience Connections Facebook page. This page is meant as a forum for Tribal community partners to share their present-day and ancestral connections to Albemarle-Pamlico watershed and coastal plain of Virginia and North Carolina.  

In October 2023, the project team briefed APNEP's Leadership Council on progress and take aways from this work, and have since released the Tribal Coastal Resilience Phase I Report. In the future, the team will announce a series of virtual workshops involving Tribal communities, government organizations, and academic groups with the overarching goal of promoting information sharing between Tribal communities and resilience practitioners to protect the environmental health of the Albemarle-Pamlico region's waterways. Stay tuned for more information about the next phase!

Tribal Coastal Resilience Phase I Report 

Tribal Coastal Resilience Connections Facebook Page

Coastal Review Online article - Project Promotes Resilience Strategies

NC State Student Brings Indigenous Knowledge to State Climate Policies


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