Charleston, S.C., has seen a 409% increase in the number of nuisance flooding days since the 1960s. The city is now making a concerted effort to incorporate planning for future inundation into all its activities by developing a sea level rise (SLR) strategy. An important first step for the city was to determine the range of SLR scenarios to use.
In consultation with Sea Grant and NOAA, the city of Charleston determined that planning for a SLR of 1.5 feet by 2040 and 2.5 feet by 2060 was most appropriate for the city’s current needs; these targets will be reassessed every five years. The city developed a SLR strategy, a comprehensive inventory of initiatives that serve as a guiding framework to make the city more resilient to SLR and recurrent flooding. Charleston City Council adopted this strategy, and all department heads formed a Flood Action Work Group to address SLR in investments and projects moving forward.