Community Resilience Assistance
Community Assistance Overview
APNEP’s CCMP and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Virginia and North Carolina support providing assistance to communities and governments that choose to incorporate climate considerations into their planning processes, as outlined in CCMP Action D3.3:
Provide assistance to state, regional, and local governments to incorporate climate change and sea level rise considerations into their planning processes. APNEP and its partners have made significant strides predicting and mapping future climate risks, but much work remains to be done. APNEP will support government partners that choose to integrate climate information into their planning process. Additionally, APNEP will work across sectors to identify and leverage mutually beneficial climate adaptation opportunities.
- Outputs: State, regional, and local plans that address climate change and sea level rise
- Results: Improved climate resiliency for human and natural communities in the region.
Currently, APNEP staff have joined the N.C. Division of Coastal Management and N.C. Coastal Reserve in co-leading a Coastal Resilience Community of Practice. The workgroup consists of diverse coastal stakeholders, including agency representatives, local governments, and non-profit organizations who have agreed to focus on how ecosystem resiliency can help build local community resilience.
APNEP participated in the NC Department of Environmental Quality Natural and Working Lands Stakeholder Group, and development of Coastal Resiliency Regional Workshops and Summit through spring 2019. These activities were tied to the development of the Climate Risk and Resiliency Plan required by Section 9 of North Carolina Executive Order 80.
APNEP has supported the following community and government assistance initiatives related to climate change, resilience, and adaptation planning. Many of these were supported through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Ready Estuaries Program:
- Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool Exercise with Manteo and Columbia: APNEP worked with the towns of Columbia and Manteo to examine the potential impacts of rising sea levels on their wastewater infrastructure. Learn more here.
- Climate Ready Estuaries: A Blueprint for Change: APNEP partnered with Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions to assess work with local elected and appointed officials in NC’s coastal counties. Participants in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrell and Washington Counties and in Columbia, Manteo, Plymouth, and Washington were interviewed to assess their awareness and concerns about climate change and sea level rise, and identify what information and tools needed for planning and adaptation. The final report contains strategies to guide future public outreach and engagement, and includes recommendations and options to help state and local officials increase regional resilience.
- Public Listening Sessions: Sea Level Rise and Population Growth in North Carolina: APNEP and the Albemarle-Pamlico Conservation and Communities Collaborative (AP3C) held public listening sessions to discuss the combined impacts of sea level rise and population growth, with the goal of developing an adaptation communication strategy for local policy makers. Sessions were held in Washington, Engelhard, Columbia, Elizabeth City, Edenton, New Bern, and Manteo on NC's coastal plain. The report can be found here.
Several APNEP partners work closely to assist communities and local governments with resilience and adaptation planning, including:
NC Division of Coastal Management provides funding and technical assistance to assist communities.
North Carolina Sea Grant: NC Sea Grant works closely with coastal communities to effectively prepare for and improve resilience to natural hazards like floods.
Virginia Sea Grant: VA Sea Grant is working closely with coastal communities in the Hampton Roads region in southeast Virginia, a portion of which is connected to the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system.
EPA Creating Resilient Water Utilities Initiative: provides drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities with practical tools, training and technical assistance needed to increase resilience to extreme weather events. Through a comprehensive planning process, CRWU assists water utilities by promoting a clear understanding of potential long-term adaptation options.