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Resilience, Innovation, Sustainability, & Education: Creating a Sustainable Georgetown for All


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Resilience, Innovation, Sustainability, & Education: Creating a Sustainable Georgetown for All
RCE Georgetown
Americas Regional RCE Meeting 2018
24-27 October, 2018, Posadas, Argentina

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Resilience, Innovation, Sustainability, & Education: Creating a Sustainable Georgetown for All

  1. 1. RCE Georgetown Transforming Education and Community Pamela L. Martin Maeve Snyder
  2. 2.
  3. 3. We already are a UN designated site • UN Man and Biosphere Reserve for the Atlantic Southeast (including the Hobcaw Barony Reserve and the National Estuarine Research Reserve), • Part of the third-largest watershed on the East Coast • Possesses the largest river delta on the East Coast.
  4. 4. Our Local Mission • The Georgetown Sustainability Coalition (GSC) vision is to develop Georgetown County by protecting its vast natural resources, unique heritage, and rich cultural diversity into a community with a thriving economy that eliminates poverty and provides jobs at a living wage to an educated workforce with skills for the 21st Century. Utilizing its natural resources as the pillars for economic development, the county, as a part of this effort, will grow a dynamic economy where thriving societal collaboration will sustain its natural and cultural assets for today’s generation and protect them for generations to come.
  5. 5. The Purpose of the UN RCE • Dialog • Coordination • Collaboration • Local initiatives for challenges that face us all • Making Georgetown a model of resilient growth and development, inclusive and multi-stakeholder oriented
  6. 6. How can we be more resilient in the face of recent disasters? • A focus on flooding and sea level rise • How does resilience improve our economic development, preserve our communities and way of life, and protect our natural resources for today and for tomorrow’s generations?
  7. 7. SC and Flooding • Sea level rise 1-1.5 inches each decade • Beach erosion, lowland flooding, coastal flooding • 1-4 ft prediction of sea level rise over next century • Increased precipitation in SE by 27% since 1958 • Wetlands convert to open water – threatening species • Higher storm surges due to sea level rise
  8. 8. Flood Projections • NOAA predictions on medium 50% chance of above historic flooding at Spring Maid Pier, Myrtle Beach • At NOAA’s slow sea level rise scenario, standard water levels rise from 1-10 ft above the high tide line. • 4-9 feet can be viewed as reasonable this century above high tide line • SC has 800 miles of land at less than 4 ft above sea level – Charleston and Georgetown make up ½ of that land mass • In SC, this affects $60 billion in property at or below 9 ft mark • Impacts at 4 ft or lower are: 13 schools, 33 churches, 3 hospitals, 76 EPA hazardous waste sites/wastewater generators
  9. 9. Social Impacts • Insurance rates • Lifestyle • Business revenue • Lost days in school – 15 this year for the hurricane and flooding • Infrastructure damage • Home damage • Corn yields down with increased storms • Soy, cotton, wheat and peanut crops threatened
  10. 10. Social Vulnerability • 6800 people in SC at or below 4ft • 25,000 people in SC at or below 9 ft. • This variable is defined as: • Family structure constraints, language barriers, vehicle availability, medical disability, healthcare access
  11. 11. Office of Homeland Security and FEMA Community Resilience Data Housing Condition
  12. 12. Health Care
  13. 13. Employment Opportunity
  14. 14. Water Conservation
  15. 15. Community Preparedness
  16. 16. Mitigation Planning
  17. 17. Is this our Future?
  18. 18. 95% growth in county since 1970 +31,740
  19. 19. 620 % growth on Waccamaw Neck since 1970 +19,470
  21. 21. Waccamaw Neck Traffic Data Counter 1990 2000 2010 2015 119 17,700 30,800 30,400 34,800 121 16,600 33,300 32,400 37,100
  22. 22. NOAA grant for Climate Change and Flooding • Georgetown Climate Adaptation Project • $100,000 • MIT Consensus Building Institute • National Estuarine Research Reserve • University of South Carolina • Coastal Carolina University • 18 months
  23. 23. GCAP Role Play Simulation • Concept • 6 roles and a scenario • Based on downscaled data and 40 interviews • Lowering anxiety and tension through roles • Negotiation period with solutions • Discussion • Debriefing • Pre and post surveys • Qualitative notes
  24. 24. The Scenario • With the data and projections in hand, the County has convened a small, representative group of stakeholders to prioritize the projects in the Comprehensive Plan that will reduce risks from flooding and help the community be more sustainable overall. If this group can agree on the top three priority projects, and the County leadership supports those recommendations, the County will be in a strong position to receive federal funds that depend on demonstrated community buy-in for high-priority projects.
  25. 25. The Stakeholders • Riverway County Director of Sustainability • Mayor of Byways (a rural town in northwestern Riverway County) • Superintendent of Schools • Executive Director, City of Maurens Business Alliance • Small Business Owner, Artist, Environmental Activist (and Gullah Geechee) • Eastern Island beach property owner (and former council member for small town on Eastern Island)
  26. 26. Engaging our Youth in Planning for Resilient Communities
  27. 27. UN Global Youth Corps