Assessing vulnerability to sea level rise in Beaufort County, S.C., using facilitated dialogue and visualization tools
The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the Beaufort County Planning Department, Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments program, Social and Environmental Research Institute, and North Carolina Sea Grant, provided a participatory opportunity for Beaufort County to begin preparing for flooding associated with sea level rise. The project team utilized several available tools to engage local stakeholders in the process. A focus group participated in the Vulnerability and Consequences Adaptation Planning Scenarios process to identify local consequences of sea level rise and explore potential adaptation strategies. Sea level rise visualizations developed with data from NOAA’s Digital Coast Sea Level Rise Viewer tool helped stakeholders understand the risks of future coastal flooding due to rising seas. Public workshops were held to get broader input on adaptation strategies. A final report has been compiled for consideration by Beaufort County Council. This project has initiated a process of community learning that will increase the capacity of Beaufort County to adapt to sea level rise.