Sea Level Rise in North Carolina – Strategies for Mitigating Flood Risk

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Accelerated sea level rise (SLR) is threatening most all coastal communities (especially those in North Carolina), yet most are responding with inadequate mitigation efforts. To assist these efforts, this study set out to identify all available mitigation strategies, so communities could consult a comprehensive catalogue to know their options. Ideally, the catalogue would be useable in a comparative analysis of different policies, to assess what strategy a given community should undertake, given its particular characteristics. To search for prevailing mitigation strategies, we conducted a general literature, a review of community legal codes, and the Community Rating System (CRS). A subprogram of the National Flood Insurance Program, the CRS constitutes the only comprehensive catalogue of flood hazard mitigation strategies. Further, the CRS dataset offers excellent potential for subsequent comparative analysis of various strategies in various scenarios, because the CRS has 1500 member communities and has regularly evaluated their performance with all the mitigation activities for 30 years. The chosen study area of this study encompassed twenty-three communities whom did not exhibit substantial variation, but analyzing all communities, across all years, would likely produce a set of “community profiles” of flood-hazard preparedness and various sets of mitigation strategies that might tend to be most applicable. If so, such an analysis could significantly benefit community managers struggling to decide how to contend with SLR.





Nimer, David (2020). Sea Level Rise in North Carolina – Strategies for Mitigating Flood Risk. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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