STATE: New state website offers one-stop-shop for N.C. community climate change resources

RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) has announced the NC Resilience Exchange, a new interactive resource to help local and state leaders easily search the abundance of climate resilience information available and identify what will be most useful in their area. The Exchange offers funding opportunities, a directory of experts, interactive mapping tools, model ordinances and more in a one-stop-shop that is relevant to North Carolina communities.

The Exchange fulfills a priority initiative named in the 2020 North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan. The site also includes a focus on natural and working land solutions, which will help communities achieve the strategies identified in Executive Order 305 and the Natural and Working Lands Action Plan, which is part of the 2020 Resilience Plan.

“The Exchange began as an identified need for an online toolbox to share best practices and build equitable resilience,” said the state’s Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Amanda Martin. “We are eager to share the current version and will continue to update the Exchange over time – it’s an evolving resource for everyone in our state.”

NCORR developed the Exchange with help from an advisory committee, chaired by N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, and comprised of committed stakeholders from inside and outside state government. The website was designed from a needs assessment involving local and state leaders, who recognized that dozens of agencies are now offering resilience resources online. The goal was to vet the overload of available resources into a North Carolina-centric site.

Features of the site include:

  • A searchable database of funding sources that could support resilience work, including the type of project funded, a program contact and an example of a project completed with that funding source.
  • Original case studies of successful resilience projects in North Carolina and beyond, which include useful information like total cost, funding sources and advice from the project manager.
  • Interactive maps that allow users to explore the impact of different climate stressors on key issues such as vulnerable populations, roads, agriculture or ecologically important species.
  • A Find an Expert database that connects users to people willing to answer questions.
  • Resources like North Carolina local government model ordinances and guidance that can be used to protect communities from natural hazards and climate change.

The N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency is the lead state agency managing efforts to prioritize and implement resilience activities in the state, as identified in the Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan. The 2020 Plan is the state’s most comprehensive effort to date, based on science and stakeholder input, to address North Carolina’s vulnerability to climate change. Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 80 directed the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality to draft the plan, which describes the projected change in North Carolina’s climate; climate justice impacts; state infrastructure, assets, programs and services within critical sectors that are vulnerable and at risk to climate and non-climate stressors; actions currently underway; and recommendations for nature-based solutions to enhance ecosystem resiliency and sequester carbon in natural and working lands.

The Exchange was funded through HUD Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation award as well as a technical assistance award from U.S. Climate Alliance.