Developing Capacity for the Town of Plymouth

Plymouth, North Carolina

Plymouth’s natural resources draws many visitors. Photo courtesy Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

In 2010 and 2011, North Carolina Sea Grant researchers, extension staff and partners worked with the Town of Plymouth to identify its vulnerability to sea-level rise and determine strategies to deal with potential impacts. Funding was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Communities Climate Initiative and the NOAA Sectoral Research Applications Program.

The team helped the town assess its risks from climate change and identify ways to reduce its vulnerabilities, involving the community and stakeholders in the process.

They used the Vulnerability and Consequences Adaptation Planning Scenarios planning tool. Known as VCAPS, the tool was developed by Sea Grant, the Social and Environmental Research Institute, or SERI, and the University of South Carolina. VCAPS allows leaders to diagram the relationships between environmental stresses, such as increased water level, and management concerns, such as flooding.

For its work on this issue, the Town of Plymouth received the 2012 Walter B. Jones Award for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management in recognition of excellence in local government.