North Carolina Sea Grant
Coastwatch Currents

Coastwatch Currents

May 25, 2016 | Diana Hackenburg

By Diana Hackenburg

Posted May 25, 2016

Resilience is more than a buzzword or a monthly theme — it’s at the core of what the National Sea Grant network does to support coastal communities and economies.

Coastal resilience means improving the ability of a community to anticipate and bounce back from hazardous events. It takes a community to build resilience. State-level Sea Grant programs, such as North Carolina Sea Grant, work with local, regional and national partners to apply the best-available scientific knowledge to address community vulnerabilities.

The national network’s resilience work spans broadly across the country and the issues impacting communities, as shown in this handout and this collaborative story map:


The map highlights two of North Carolina Sea Grant’s many resiliency projects:

Hyde County Adaptation Plan

North Carolina Sea Grant, Georgia Sea Grant, the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government and UGA Marine Extension Service are partnering with two communities, including Hyde County, North Carolina, to develop resilience and adaptation plans. The Hyde County project has focused on flooding issues, and this summer will result in a flood guide and flood resiliency plan for the county. As part of the project, North Carolina Sea Grant created the video below as an outreach tool for educating county residents about their options for home elevation.

Learn more about the Hyde County adaptation plan.

Rip Currents

Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beachgoers. The U.S. Lifesaving Association reports 80 percent of all surf rescues are related to rip currents. North Carolina Sea Grant leads a team of researchers and volunteers focused on bringing new perspectives and data to better understand rip currents along East Coast beaches. The researchers deploy drifters to collect data from rip currents, a task that gets them out of the office and into the water as shown in the video below:

Learn more about rip current research, news and outreach.


50th Anniversary

The National Sea Grant Program is celebrating 50 years of putting science to work for America’s coastal communities. Each month, we will share stories that spotlight how North Carolina Sea Grant uses research and outreach to positively engage and impact coastal communities.

Prior to May’s community resilience focus, we highlighted the Knauss fellowship. Learn how North Carolina Sea Grant’s Sara Mirabilio applies lessons from her fellowship to her everyday work with fishermen, or explore the marine transportation system with current North Carolina fellow Supriti Jaya Ghosh. Next month, be on the lookout for stories on coastal tourism, followed by water resources in July.

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