Flooding and sea level rise are challenges the City of Charleston has taken seriously for centuries. However, this City that we love is experiencing the effects more frequently than ever. In the 1970s Charleston experienced an average of 2 days of tidal flooding per year and it is projected that the City could experience 180 days of tidal flooding in 2045.

Identifying initiatives that will improve our ability to withstand these effects is timely. This Sea Level Rise Strategy Plan is that comprehensive inventory of initiatives. World class initiatives by other communities were reviewed by a multi-disciplinary task force of staff representing the City’s Public Service, Planning, Preservation and Sustainability, Emergency Management, and GIS Departments to inspire the strategies identified in this plan.

The initiatives were developed to ensure that we anticipate and put into place actions to reinvest, to be ready and to respond rapidly to the challenges of sea level rise. Many of the initiatives identified are already underway and will be accomplished within the next two years. Others need to be evaluated and prioritized over the coming years and funded over the coming decades. There are no quick and cheap solutions, but we must undertake these initiatives and consider adopting a plan that defines strategic and achievable steps.

We live in a beautiful area, blessed by its adjacency to our harbor and rivers. The challenges of sea level rise are at the forefront of the City’s agenda. The City will embrace these challenges by being at the cutting edge of best practices and by our shared resolve to preserve this beautiful place for generations to come. I commend this valuable document to you to help guide our strategic planning and actions on sea level rise.

Click to see Sea Rise Study #1 http://www.charleston-sc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10089