RCE Georgetown - 2018

Georgetown Climate Adaptation Project: Building a Resilient and Sustainable Georgetown County
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Georgetown Climate Adaptation Project: Building a Resilient and Sustainable Georgetown County
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Georgetown
Contributing organization(s) : 
Coastal Carolina University and the National Estuarine Research Reserve
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Pamela Martin
Organizational Affiliation: 
Coastal Carolina University
Name: 
Maeve Snyder
Organizational Affiliation: 
National Estuarine Research Reserve
Format of project: 
Power Point
Language of project: 
English (we can also translate to Spanish)
Date of submission:
Friday, June 29, 2018
The GCAP links to SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, in addition to GAP Area 1 on Policy, 2 & 3 on Training in Community and with stakeholders, and GAP 5 on creating local solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Local
The GCAP links to SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, in addition to GAP Area 1 on Policy, 2 & 3 on Training in Community and with stakeholders, and GAP 5 on creating local solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Subnational
The GCAP links to SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, in addition to GAP Area 1 on Policy, 2 & 3 on Training in Community and with stakeholders, and GAP 5 on creating local solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation
At what level is the policy operating?: 
National
The GCAP links to SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, in addition to GAP Area 1 on Policy, 2 & 3 on Training in Community and with stakeholders, and GAP 5 on creating local solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation
At what level is the policy operating?: 
International
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Americas
Country: 
United States
Location(s): 
Georgetown County – cities of Andrews, Georgetown, and Pawleys Island
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Department of Politics
Coastal Carolina University
Brittain Hall 350
125 Chanticleer Dr. West
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-6054
Ecosystem(s):
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Georgetown County in coastal South Carolina, USA, has 24 miles of coastline, 7 inlets, 5 major rivers, the Winyah Bay, multiple barrier islands, and the largest inland island on the East Coast (Sandy Island). The county faces severe socioeconomic challenges. While 33% of the population is African American and part of a National Heritage Corridor for the Gullah Geechee Culture, they suffer disproportionately from inadequate housing and high unemployment rates (97% African American claimants, compared with 2% White claimants). Eighteen percent of African Americans in the county live in poverty, compared with 8% of their White counterparts (Children’s Trust 2017).
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The challenges in the county relate to three years of natural disasters related to hurricanes and flooding compounded
with high poverty and a need for diverse economic development and increased educational performance. This project
addresses long term planning by producing a role play simulation (RPS) on climate adaptation planning for the county and bringing that RPS to communities to engage in productive dialog about planning for our climate future while preserving and building the sustainable communities we would like to live in. This addresses SDG goals 3 Health and Well Being, 4 Education, 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, and 13 Climate Action.
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
October, 2017
Rationale: 
Over the past three years, communities in Georgetown County, South Carolina have endured one-thousand year rainfall and flooding (Tropical Storm Joaquin) and two hurricanes (Matthew and Irma), and other extreme storms. During each event, this coastal low-lying county has experienced threats to life, major impacts to the ecosystem, infrastructure and housing damages, and lost business revenue and school days, among other issues. While climate science has pointed to anthropogenic causes and the need for planning, small communities like Georgetown, have few resources to do so. This NOAA-funded grant project will address the downscaled climate data realities, challenges and decision-maker roles, as well as policy analysis and community training through consensus building role play simulations.

This project provides the downscaled climate data, organizes community meetings in which citizens play stakeholder roles in a climate adaptation planning scenario, and have debriefing conversations about policies that need to be addressed to plan a more resilient Georgetown County. This project will follow up the community meetings with data on community feedback from the debriefings and county/city policy recommendations, linked to the UN SDGs and Disaster Risk Reduction principles.
Objectives: 
This project serves to build local capacity for addressing climate impacts, in spite of the area’s financial and infrastructure challenges. The work will produce community-level scientific data and public process recommendations for local leadership. It is also expected to further local knowledge about climate impacts and increase social cohesion and learning.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Downscaled scientific data was collected and reported; role play simulation written based on local scientific data; training workshop for stakeholders and community trainers; community role play simulation meetings; debriefing sessions; pre and post survey for change in attitude and opinion; community feedback report.
Size of academic audience: 
We seek to reach about 500 people in the county.
Results: 
Products:
Downscaled climate data; role play simulation (RPS); 40 community interviews that inform the role play simulation; training workshop on how to administer the simulation; 4 community meetings for role play simulations; 1 stakeholder
feedback meeting to provide results in February 2019.

Results:
Downscaled climate data indicates an increase by 2070 of temperature from 91.8 to 97.7 under high emissions scenario.
Historically, there have been 2 days over 100 degrees. That is predicted to change to 32.2 days per year by 2070. Per
decade, storm events with more than 4 inches per 48 hours was 6.8. This is predicted to increase to 11.4.

In the interviews, stakeholders were surprised to learn that by 2070 there could be such variation and that variation was tied to emissions in the atmosphere. They commented on the fragile nature of our current ecosystems and communities and how such increases to add significant stressors to our quality of life, including severe health risks.

The fall 2018 will consist of an RPS workshop to train stakeholders to engage meetings in their smaller communities with the RPS. The UN RCE Georgetown will hold that workshop and the 4 subsequent community workshops hosted by
stakeholders. By March 2019, we will hold a stakeholder meeting to debrief on the findings.
Lessons learned: 
From the initial interviews, we have learned that some stakeholders are not linking degree increases with compounded and complex impacts on life and our ecosystem. We have noted significant variation in concerns among different communities and populations. For example, flooding has impacted greatly African American communities. These communities face land challenges due to heirs property in which multiple owners hold title to the land or title is not cleared. This creates issues in repair and federal funding after a disaster. Additionally, stake holders are pressured to address short term needs, such as housing repairs and infrastructure and struggle to find the time to address long term planning. This is a common refrain among leaders in small communities with little access to resources.
Key messages: 
Climate Adaptation and disaster risk reduction are linked and require community dialog about cultural heritage and natural resource protection for today’s and future generations. These conversations are often overlooked in favor of short term needs to the detriment of planning for the next storm and impacts on communities and ecosystems.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
These activities relate to our Task Forces on Education; Climate Adaptation and Mitigation; and Land Use Planning and their related events/trainings.
Funding: 
NOAA Scientific Transfer Grant $100,00
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Direct
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Indirect
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Indirect
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
Indirect
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
Direct
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
Indirect
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Direct
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Direct
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
Direct
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Direct
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Indirect
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Direct
Theme
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Direct
Traditional Knowledge  
Direct
Curriculum Development 
Indirect
Ecotourism 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Indirect
Plants & Animals 
Direct
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Direct
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Direct
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
Direct