In collaboration with North Carolina Sea Grant, Georgia Sea Grant used Vulnerability Consequences Adaptation Planning Scenarios (VCAPS), GIS-based cost-benefit evaluations, and elevation data for flood resiliency and climate adaptation planning in the city of St. Mary’s (GA), and Hyde County (NC). Further, Georgia Sea Grant’s Community Rating System (CRS) program paired local knowledge and academic expertise to build local relationships, making communities safer and more prepared for flood events.
As a result of Georgia Sea Grant’s integrated research and extension efforts, the City of St. Marys implemented a new Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, adopted new standard operating procedures for flood response, and entered the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) at a level of 7, resulting in an average savings of $107 per household in flood insurance premiums. This adds up to city-wide savings of $87,740 annually. St Marys plans to pursue stormwater management, planning, and green infrastructure installations to build flood resilience in its downtown area. As a result of these efforts, the City of St. Marys was recognized as one of the four communities in Georgia that worked across public-private sectors and nonprofit boundaries on initiatives that have the chance to improve the quality of life for their citizens. St. Marys Flood Resilience Plan was unanimously adopted by the City Council.