Rural Coastal Community Resilience
Rural coastal communities experience many of the same impacts caused by climate change and sea level rise as urban and beach tourism areas. Unfortunately, these communities are not as frequently included in adaptation and mitigation planning. Urban areas and those who attract beach tourism also benefit from larger tax bases, greater disaster relief funding, and more attention from resilience research. In an effort to build adaptive capacity and resilience on the Albemarle Pamlico Peninsula (APP) this research focus will address the socio-economic conditions unique to rural coastal communities and what measures can be taken for local climate readiness.
The local economy of the APP relies on agriculture, timber, fishing, and wildlife related tourism. These industries stand to face significant risks in the coming decades as impacts from saltwater intrusion and sea level rise lead to habitat transition and changes in the local ecology. Natural resource dependent livelihoods like these are closely tied to the environment and the changes that happen within. While rural out migration and an increasing mean age occur simultaneously with these physical impacts to the local environment, a unique context of social conditions underlie the counties within the study site. Using social science methods like focus groups, surveys, and interviews we will look to better understand rural coastal resilience planning and develop recommendations specific to the APP.