On September 30, a panel of military, academic and government experts met to discuss the risks posed by sea level rise and opportunities to build resilience across North Carolina’s coastal communities. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, rising sea levels and catastrophic flooding are among the greatest threats to America’s safety and security in a 21st century world.
John Nicholson, chief deputy secretary for the Department of Environmental Quality facilitated the panel discussion. Nicholson, a retired Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps reflected on his service in the military and how it’s shaped his views on climate change. “Sea level rise affects our coastal communities and presents special challenges for the coastal military bases we rely on to preserve our national security. Efforts to build resiliency among these communities will require the cooperation of policy makers, planners, scientists, military leaders and most importantly, the residents of these areas,” said Nicholson.
The discussion included representatives of the United States Navy and the Center for Climate and Security, professors from the Coastal Studies Institute at East Carolina University and the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University, and the Principal Planner for the Town of Nags Head, North Carolina. The event also featured a screening of Tidewater, an award-winning film from the American Resilience Project that details the challenges sea level rise presents to military readiness, national security, and coastal communities in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. You can view Tidewater online at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/tidewater.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the Center for Climate and Security, North Carolina Sea Grant, and the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership hosted the event at the NCSU Hunt Library on Centennial Campus.
You can view the livestream at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hjL7oF2PY