NIDIS Pilot Project Scoping Workshop: Coastal Carolina Ecosystems
July 31 – August 1, 2012
Wilmington, NC

by Ryan Boyles, State Climate Office, NC State University

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and the Carolinas Regionally Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) team recently co-hosted a drought workshop. NIDIS was formed by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Act, signed into law in 2006, which calls for an interagency, multi-partner approach to drought monitoring, forecasting, and early warning, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  CISA is one of several teams supported by the NOAA Climate Program Office to advance climate and climate-related sciences in support of decision-making.  They joined to host an intense, 2-day workshop to develop a set of focused project ideas to better handle drought issues in coastal ecosystems of the Carolinas.

Participants at the workshop included a wide mix of academic and government experts that covered sectors including human health, water management, environmental ecology, emergency management, and military. There were even a few climatologists.

Over the next few years, CISA and NIDIS will work with workshop and other participants to develop and implement a few projects that were prioritized through the workshop process, including:

  • improving drought indicators for coastal ecosystems
  • communicating drought forecasts
  • connecting drought impacts to seafood safety
  • drought impact reporting

with the goal of building drought management capacity over the long term.

NIDIS has worked with local partners to implement pilot projects in other regions of the country in recent years, but the coastal Carolinas offers a challenge given the unique complexities of the water, land, and economic sensitivities of the region to drought.

Curious? Intrigued? Absolutely fascinated by drought? Contact Lisa Darby (NIDIS)(; Kirsten Lackstrom (CISA) ( or Ryan Boyles ( to learn more.