Coastal Resilience Planning and Policy There are many aspects to planning for coastal resilience and every community has a unique perspective and set of vulnerabilities. Successful planning requires an inter-disciplinary approach and willingness to partner and collaborate with others. Some amazing efforts are ongoing in North Carolina and across the country adding to the lessons learned. However, taking those lessons and applying them in a given community is easier said than done. Explore the resources below from DCM and others for best management practices to help inspire and guide your community or region's work. Know that a number of established processes and self-assessment checklists can be found on Tools page which may provide a clearer direction of what issue areas to focus on. DCM Community Coastal Resilience Pilot Project Learn how DCM's NOAA Coastal Management fellow worked with partners to assist five local governments in conducting Resilience Evaluation and Needs Assessments (RENAs), including Town of Duck, Town of Edenton, Hatteras Village, Town of Oriental, and the Town of Pine Knoll Shores. View the Story Map introducing what coastal resilience means for the five pilot communities. Planning & Policy Topics Comprehensive/Land Use Hazard Mitigation & Disaster Recovery Floodplain/Stormwater Management & CRS Social Vulnerability Climate Change Adaptation Shoreline Management Legal Authorities & Analyses A community's comprehensive plan (sometimes referred to as land use or general plan) is the primary set of information and policies that guide the delicate balancing of the three-legged stool of a thriving community: social systems, the economy, and the natural environment. A comprehensive plan's broad overarching framework and the ability to set a community-wide vision for the future translates well for integrating the similarly multi-disciplinary issues of natural hazards resilience and climate adaptation. As comprehensive plans touch on multiple issues such as transportation, affordable housing, economic development and environmental protection, so too are those issues directly impacted by natural hazards. Communities are finding ways to better connect other goals of hazard mitigation, disaster recovery, sustainability and climate change adaptation into their comprehensive plan fact base, stakeholder engagement processes, and policies, all of which are crucial for enacting ordinances, regulations, and incentive programs that help build resilience. To view examples of how communities have integrated climate change adaptation, resilience and sea level rise into comprehensive land use plans, visit the 'Community Planning' Section of DCM's Adaptations and Examples page. Updated Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) Comprehensive/Land Use Planning Guidance *Coming Soon* - Disaster Recovery and Resilience Element: Explore recommendations and resources for incorporating a 'disaster recovery and resilience' element to your community's comprehensive plan and how it overlaps with other elements. Safe Growth Audit APA's Safe Growth Audit (2009): This 26-part survey developed in 2013 helps local government staff quickly assess the important overlap between hazard mitigation and comprehensive plans, zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations, and capital improvement programs. General Best Practices APA Sustaining Places: Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans (2015): Explore how the intersection of sustainability, adaptation and resilience can help create a meaningful comprehensive plan. Six key principles described include: livable built environment; harmony with nature; resilient economy; interwoven equity; health community; responsible regionalism FEMA Integrating Hazard Mitigation Into Local Planning (2013): Learn about the opportunities and benefits of integrating hazard mitigation goals into local plans policies, regulations and programs, the potential barriers and solutions of the task, and a series of case studies and fact sheets to facilitate the process. Hazard mitigation activities, which are those that aim to reduce interruption to services and damage to or destruction of life, property and the environment, can and should occur well before an event. They also need to be the cornerstone for strategies pursued and investments made during the short- and long-term disaster recovery period (months to years). The great value of planning for a disaster beforehand is the resulting improvement of communication, response time, and utilization of funding and other disaster recovery resources. The North Carolina Emergency Management Division (EMD) is the state agency primarily responsible for implementing emergency preparedness, response, and recovery functions for disasters, including many of the hazard mitigation and recovery grant programs as well as the floodplain mapping program. DCM works with NC EMD and other partners to provide relevant data and information to local governments in order to build resilience. The two concepts of hazard mitigation and disaster recovery go hand in hand. When coordinated and paired with an inclusive stakeholder engagement process, the outcome is a more informed, prepared, and resilient community. Hazard Mitigation State Hazard Mitigation Office and Flood Mitigation: NCEM Mitigation Planning Home NC Floodplain Mapping Program - Mitigation Page Enhance the Process: Beyond the Basics: Best Practices in Local Mitigation Planning - Texas A&M and UNC-Chapel Hill (2013): approach your local or regional hazard mitigation plan with a comprehensive process while using best practices from around the country. Community Based-Vulnerability Assessment: A Guide to Engaging Communities in Understanding Social and Physical Vulnerability to Disasters - MDC Inc. & UNC Institute for the Environment (2009): ensure your vulnerability assessments are inclusive and reflect local chronic stressors. Brainstorm Actions: FEMA Mitigation Ideas List (2013): explore a variety of mitigation action types (e.g., planning and regulations, structure and infrastructure, natural systems protection. education and awareness) for different hazards. Disaster Recovery Rebuilding: DCM FAQs Rebuilding After Storm & Permitting Checklist for Local Governments Smart Home America: Learn about what it means to for a community and homeowners to 'build back better' through the FORTIFIED program, insurance tips, and energy saving measures. Guiding Pre- and Post-Disaster Recovery Planning: National Guidance and Best Practices Before Disaster Hits: Top Items a Local Government Needs in Place to Launch Effective Community Recovery - Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government (2009) FEMA Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for Local Governments (2017) APA Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation (2015) Be sure to also explore APA's Post-Disaster Recovery Briefing Papers which includes a Model Pre-Event Recovery Ordinance Southeast U.S. Southeast Disaster Recovery Partnership: Find out how governments and businesses in the region are partnering to improve disaster recovery efforts and enhance coordination. Disaster Recovery and Redevelopment Planning Guide and example county plans - Georgia Department of Natural Resources (2015) Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning Guide and Addressing Adaptation Addendum - Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (2018) North Carolina Case Studies: Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative: explore the series of post-disaster recovery plans and HomePlace guides developed for several communities in Eastern North Carolina by UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State faculty and students as well as professional planning and design experts. Floodplain Management and Buyout Programs: NC Flood Damage Assessment Packet - NCEM (2018): This document assists local floodplain administrators with their pre- and post-disaster responsibilities regarding permitting and substantial damage. Floodplain Buyouts: An Action Guide for Local Governments on How to Maximize Community Benefits, Habitat Connectivity, and Resilience - Environmental Law Institute and UNC Institute for the Environment (2017) For information specific to disaster recovery assistance and timelines, communities should refer to the North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) sites for Matthew, Florence, and Rebuild NC as well as the FEMA website for Florence. Local governments can also find useful resources on NCEM's Hurricane Florence microsite hosted by the UNC School of Government. Flooding is North Carolina's most common and costly natural hazard threat. With the rich history of flooding events from hurricanes and other events, a number of lessons have been learned and programs like the Community Rating System (CRS) incentivize smarter actions by local governments while reducing flood insurance premiums for residents. Floodplain and Stormwater Management Resources Go-To References: NC Floodplain Management Quickguide (2017): A great one-stop-shop for floodplain management regulations, data, and visual examples for NC. Green Infrastructure Toolkit - Georgetown Climate Center (2016): learn about projects and best management practices from around the country as well as approaches for how to pay for and communicate about green infrastructure strategies. NC Flood Damage Assessment Packet - NCEM (2018): This document assists local floodplain administrators with their pre- and post-disaster responsibilities regarding permitting and substantial damage. Tools: Model Floodplain Damage Prevention Ordinance for Coastal NC Communities - NC DEQ (2017): adapt this ordinance for your jurisdiction and consider if higher standards are appropriate. NOAA's Adapting Stormwater Management for Coastal Floods (2018): develop a localized stormwater report online to see what current and future flooding could mean for your system's critical thresholds. Design Manuals: NC DEQ Stormwater Design Manual (2018): browse guidelines that compatible with the Minimum Design Criteria (MDC) that are codified in the stormwater rules. NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) Design Manual: a resource for soil and water conservation district employees in siting, selecting, designing, installing, and maintaining stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as rain gardens, cisterns, vegetated swales, impervious pavement, and more. Other: Safe Development in Flood Prone Areas (2011) in NC by the NC Chapter of the Association of State Floodplain Managers: learn how to build up, out, and in safer ways using strategies like higher development restrictions. NC Coastal Federation's Low Impact Development Fact Sheet: Learn how governments and individuals can enhance natural features to improve water quantity and quality management. Local Manuals: Town of Columbia (2012), Towns of Cedar Point and Cape Carteret (2012) and Town of Nags Head (2015) FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) Resources Manual and Guidance: CRS Coordinator's Manual - FEMA (2017): Explore the comprehensive standards and rules for the CRS. CRS Green Guide - Association of State Floodplain Managers (2018): Get tips about how to get the most credits and maximize flood insurance premium reductions. Tool: NOAA's How to Map Open Space for Community Rating System Credit (2019): Pair this walkthrough with the GIS workflow guidance to map eligible open spaces areas. The Nature Conservancy's CRS Explorer for Open Space Preservation credits: Quickly identify which areas in your community are eligible for Open Space Preservation Credits (Activity 420). Connect to a Network: CRS Users Groups: Attend regular meetings and connect with other communities' staff on challenges and solutions for administering CRS. Outer Banks CRS Users Group: Donna Creef, email@example.com Southeast NC Users Group: Craig Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ken Vafier, email@example.com NC Current NFIP Policies and CRS Ratings: View which communities are participating and how well they're scoring in the CRS. Other: NFIP Success with CRS: see examples from communities across the country on which CRS activities helped them build resilience. Communities can also upload their own success story. FEMA NFIP CRS Resources: View other helpful information from FEMA NFIP. FEMA Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP): Risk MAP provides high-quality flood maps and information, tools to better assess the risk from flooding and planning and outreach support to communities to help them take action to reduce (or mitigate) flood risk. Example: Building Back Better & Reducing Flood Insurance Costs Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency Population characteristics like household income, age, unemployment rate, race and ethnicity and percent of renters can have major effects on how well a community can prepare for, respond to, and recovery from environmental hazards. To truly build community resilience, these socially vulnerable groups must be identified and accounted for in public engagement processes, policy creation, and funding activities. Learn more below about how to measure these characteristics and how to apply them in planning efforts. Basics: USC Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) Frequently Asked Questions: A detailed description of the factors that make up the SoVI index. UNC Convergence of Climate-Health Vulnerabilities: An overview of the basic characteristics of what makes a population or place vulnerable to natural hazards. Applying the information: Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic's Report on Mapping Coastal Risks and Social Vulnerability: Principles and Considerations in VA and NC (2015) Many communities are going beyond traditional hazard mitigation or sustainability plans and focusing more specifically on their climate risks and vulnerabilities. Establishing a clear fact base and set of policy solutions to deal with the uncertainty of climate impacts is crucial for advancing long-term resilience. State-wide Climate Change Initiatives: NC Climate Change Interagency Council (2018): On October 29, 2018, Governor Cooper established the North Carolina Climate Change Interagency Council as part of Executive Order No. 80 North Carolina's Commitment To Address Climate Change And Transition To A Clean Energy Economy This includes the development of a State Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan. NC Interagency Leadership Team's Climate Ready NC Report (2012): The Climate-Ready North Carolina strategy discusses how our state can proactively prepare for projected impacts of climate variability and weather extremes on our economy, infrastructure and natural resources. The strategy outlined in this report provides a framework for collaboratively planning an integrated climate adaptation response for North Carolina. Guides and Toolkits: UNC's Adapting to Climate Change: A Handbook for Local Governments (2013): provides local governments with information on how climate change might impact their communities, along with strategies that can be implemented to address the changing nature of those threats. Georgetown Climate Center's Sea Level Rise Adaptation Toolkit (2011): provides local and state governments and their citizens with practical knowledge to help adapt to sea-level rise in a prudent and balanced manner. The Tool Kit offers a menu of generally used legal devices that can reduce future harms, though not all approaches mentioned are applicable to local governments in North Carolina. Partnership efforts: NC Sea Grant Coastal Hazards: There are several extension specialists that are knowledgeable in community hazard assessment and facilitation, coastal construction, natural resources, and floodplain restoration that can assist with adaptation efforts. Southeast and Caribbean Climate Community of Practice (SCCCOP): This organization brings together individuals from local, state, and federal governments, academia, non-profit organizations and the private sector to apply climate science and assess how coastal communities and ecosystems can adapt to the impacts of climate variability and change National Databases and Perspectives: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit - U.S. Global Change Research Program (2016): Explore information and tools to help your community better understand it's climate risks and how to address them. Georgetown Climate Center Adaptation Clearinghouse: an online database and networking site that allows users to search and develop a personalized collection of resources, organizations. 4th National Climate Assessment - Chapter 28: Reducing Risks Through Adaptation Actions (2018): Get an overview of the latest thinking about what is needed for communities to effectively adapt. Oceanfront Shoreline Management What You Should Know About Erosion and Oceanfront Development (NC DCM): learn about tracing shoreline changes, how erosion rates affect property owners and what setback factors are in your area. Options for Protecting Oceanfront Property (NC DCM): learn about the basic options including sandbags, beach bulldozing, relocation of structures, and beach nourishment. Case Study Highlight Bogue Banks Beach Master Nourishment Plan (2018): the Carteret County Shoreline Protection Office has developed a 50-year plan for beach nourishment covering a region of several municipalities along the roughly 25-mile barrier island. Learn more about the shoreline preservation plans and activities. Funded in part by the county's occupancy tax and municipal special property tax, along with FEMA reimbursement post-storm, their approach is considered successful because it accomplishes many objectives: Plan regionally for multiple jurisdictions Facilitate the permitting, authorization, and scheduling of shoreline nourishment/maintenance Balance the protection of the tourism industry, state and local infrastructure and oceanfront or adjacent structures Maintain natural resources and associated recreational uses while avoiding and minimizing adverse environmental impacts Consolidate individual town and county resources in a more cost and logistically effective way Estuarine Shoreline Management For decades, installing hardened structures like bulkheads have been used to protect private property from estuarine shoreline erosion. More recently, the use of natural or nature-based solutions, such as living shorelines, has proven to be another potentially effective and more resilient option for combating erosion where feasible. Explore the examples and resources below to learn how and where different estuarine shoreline management approaches are being used. Estuarine Shoreline Stabilizations Options (NC DCM): learn the basic options, including land planning, vegetation control, marsh toe protection revetments, sheet pile and marsh sills or living shorelines, groins, breakwaters, riprap revetments and bulkheads. Reports NCSG/UNC Report: Management Strategies for NC’s Estuarine Shoreline (2014): View synthesis results summarizing issues and recommendations for managing estuarine shorelines. DCM Marsh Sill Final Report (2011): View results of the assessment of 27 marsh sills which included field visits and a property owner survey. Climate Change Impacts to Estuaries: EPA Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) Program CRE Synthesis of Adaptation Options in Coastal Areas (2009): Compiles a list of over 50 actions and describes the climate stressor addressed, other goals it meets, benefits, constraints, and examples. Source: Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering, NOAA, and USACE, 2015 Taking actions to build resilience requires creative thinking and solutions, but they must be allowed and supported by existing laws and statutes. Below, communities can explore reports and relevant legal authorities and enabling legislation that support various policy and planning tools. Reports and Analyses Two-page Fact Sheet on Floodplain Management Requirements in NC (2011) by NC Association of Floodplain Managers UNC Coastal Resources Law, Planning, and Policy Center: View over a dozen articles and papers covering topics such as coastal and offshore wind energy, waterfront access, oceanfront property, and more. State Legislation & Provisions Updated December 2018. North Carolina General Statues and North Carolina Administrative Codes may have changed. Note: this list does not contain all possible enabling legislation that may contribute to coastal resilience. Topic and Description Statute or Legislation and Relevant Language Shoreline Erosion Policy statements on effective shoreline erosion strategies 15A NCAC 07M.0202 07M.0202 (b) "Preferred response measures for shoreline erosion include but shall not be limited to AEC rules, land use planning and land classification, the establishment of building setback lines, building relocation, subdivision regulations and management of vegetation"; (c) "The replenishment of sand on ocean beaches can provide storm protection and a viable alternative to allowing the ocean shoreline to migrate landward threatening to degrade public beaches and cause the loss of public facilities and private property...." Ocean Erosion Control Structures 'Erosion control structures' could include bulkheads, jetties, groins, revetment, seawall, sandbags, or similar structure. §G.S. 113A-115.1 Limitations on erosion control structures 113A-115.1.(b) "no person shall construct permanent erosion control structure in an ocean shoreline...[and] shall not permit construction of temporary erosion control structure that consists of anything other than sandbags in an ocean shoreline" Exceptions: 113-115.1(b)(1) "any permanent erosion control structure that is approved pursuant to an exception.... adopted by Commission prior to July 1, 2003";(2) "...originally constructed prior to July 1, 1974 that has since been in continuous use to protect an inlet... maintained for navigation"; or (3) "any terminal groin permitted pursuant to this section". Sea Level Rise Projections Local government entities are not prohibited from defining their own rates of sea level change §113A-107.1 Sea-level policy 113A-107.1(c) "Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a county, municipality, or other local government entity from defining rates of sea-level change for regulatory purposes." Zoning and Unified Development Ordinances (UDOs) Local governments can determine how and where they build through zoning and development regulation ordinances or a UDO that combines all ordinances with options to build resilience by limiting density or intense uses in known high-hazards areas. §G.S. 160A-381. (City) & §G.S.153-340. (County): Zoning - Grant of Power § 160A381(a) (City) & [§153-340 (county)(a)]."For the purpose of promoting health, safety, morals, or the general welfare of the community, any city [a county] may adopt zoning and development regulation ordinances. These ordinances may be adopted as part of a unified development ordinance or as a separate ordinance. A zoning ordinance may regulate and restrict the height, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lots that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts and other open spaces, the density of population, the location and use of buildings, structures and land.." Special Service Districts Local governments can create special service districts to generate funds through added property taxes to finance, provide, or maintain a certain service, facility, or function such as watershed or stormwater management. §G.S. 160A-536. (City) & §G.S. 153A-301. (County) Purposes for which districts may be established §160A-536.(a) & [153A-301(a)]: "The city council of any city [or the board of commissioners of any county] may define any number of service districts in order to finance, provide, or maintain for the districts one or more of the following services, facilities and functions ..." "...: (1) Beach erosion control and flood and hurricane protection works. (2) Fire protection. (3) Recreation. (4) Sewage collection and disposal systems of all types, including septic tank systems or other on-site collection or disposal facilities or systems. (5) Solid waste collection and disposal systems. (6) Water supply and distribution systems. (7) Ambulance and rescue. (8) Watershed improvement projects, ...." ".... (9) Cemeteries. (10) Law enforcement ...." Building Requirements All buildings must meet N.C. State Building Code requirements, but local governments can adopt Flood Damage Prevention Ordinances to regulate development in the floodplain that accounts for current and future risks (e.g., higher freeboard) §G.S. 143-138. North Carolina State Building Code 143-138.(e) "...the North Carolina State Building Code shall apply throughout the State... However, any political subdivision of the State may adopt a fire prevention code and floodplain management regulations within its jurisdiction ... Local floodplain regulations may regulate all types and uses of buildings or structures located in flood hazard areas identified by local, State, and federal agencies, and G.S. 143-138 Page 10 include provisions governing substantial improvements, substantial damage, cumulative substantial improvements, lowest floor elevation, protection of mechanical and electrical systems, foundation construction, anchorage, acceptable flood resistant materials, and other measures the political subdivision deems necessary considering the characteristics of its flood hazards and vulnerability." Stormwater Programs Local governments can establish stormwater utilities or programs to collect stormwater fees related to the development and square feet of impervious surface which can fund stormwater management activities § 143-214.7. Stormwater runoff rules and programs. § 143-214.7.(c)."Model stormwater management programs shall be developed to protect existing water uses and assure compliance with water quality standards and classifications. A State agency or unit of local government may submit to the Commission for its approval a stormwater control program for implementation within its jurisdiction. To this end, State agencies may adopt rules, and units of local government are authorized to adopt ordinances and regulations necessary to establish and enforce stormwater control programs. Units of local government are authorized to create or designate agencies or subdivisions to administer and enforce the programs. Two or more units of local government are authorized to establish a joint program and to enter into any agreements that are necessary for the proper administration and enforcement of the program."