Abstract for: Coastal community adaptation planning to sea level rise

Rural coastal communities throughout the United States are increasingly vulnerable to rapid decline due to the threat of sea-level rise. Lacking resources and the economic capacity, many of these communities will struggle to develop strategies and commitment to action to successfully navigate adaptation, mitigation, or retreat to this threat. As a result, many of these communities may cease to exist in the future. This study examines such a threaten rural coastal community located in eastern North Carolina, United States. Already, the community experiences flood inundation resulting from passing storm systems due to the low elevation and proximity to the shoreline. Additionally, a rising sea is expected to bring tidal flooding on a frequent basis several times a month. Stakeholders have recognized this threat and have considered plans for dike building, and elevating structures; however, this may be inadequate and unaffordable. This work in progress examines conflicting stakeholder objectives, prioritization of resources, project complexity, social conflict, and equity and social vulnerability.