The Coastal Hazards Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) has developed a handbook to help local governments in North Carolina adapt to climate change. The handbook demonstrates the need for local action and explains the options that are open to local governments.

Climate change is and will continue to impact every community in North Carolina, the United States and indeed the world. In North Carolina climate change is expected to increase extreme heat, increase the frequency and severity of drought, raise sea levels, increase the intensity of hurricanes, and increase heavy precipitation.

If no action is taken these changes may cause a decline in public health, economic loss, and environmental damage. Fortunately, there are many tools at the disposal of local governments to address these impacts; many are already in use. The handbook emphasizes these opportunities and provides guidance to retool existing policy and programs to address climate change.

The handbook was written by Sierra C. Woodruff with Anna K. Schwab and Dylan Sandler. UNC Professors Gavin Smith and David J. Brower advised on the project, along with a committee comprised of local elected officials, planners, emergency managers, and representatives from state agencies.

Ms. Sierra C. Woodruff is a PhD candidate in the UNC-CH Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology and plans to continue studying local climate adaptation for her dissertation.

To download the handbook, please click here.

You can also download a Powerpoint presentation that elaborates on why the handbook was created.