In recent years, Georgetown County, South Carolina experienced threats to life, ecosystems, infrastructure, housing, schools, and businesses due to a thousand-year rainfall event, Hurricane Matthew, and repeated flooding episodes. The increased frequency and severity of these rainfall events mirrors climate scientists' predictions for the region as climate change intensifies. Like many small counties in the United States, Georgetown County is challenged by financial limitations and burgeoning infrastructure needs, creating a difficult decision-making environment for considering climate adaptation and mitigation planning.
This project has developed and implemented a novel approach to climate adaptation planning, which was first conducted in New England (See: NECAP). In South Caroina, the project team created role-play case studies using local climate information and sociopolitical context to engage local citizens and community leaders in exploring climate change impacts and potential decisions in their local context. The goal of the simulations is collective community learning and engagement with the potential for policy and planning recommendations to emerge.