Building Resilient Communities Using a Beachfront Vulnerability Index

Over the past two decades, South Carolina’s eight coastal counties have experienced rapid growth and erosion. The state’s coastal zone management program developed a beachfront vulnerability index to assess community exposure and susceptibility. Data used for this task included elevation, long-term erosion rates, number of dunes present, wave height, tidal range, and a habitable structure’s proximity to an inlet and distance from the state’s beachfront jurisdiction (setback line and baseline). A vulnerability score for each parcel along the South Carolina coast was established. Planners use this index in their efforts to incorporate mitigation and adaptation strategies in beachfront management plans on a local and state level. (2016)

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Partners: NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship, South Carolina Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Tridec Technologies