Find Resources: State and Local Plans

Below is a list of state and local plans in North Carolina that feature climate resilience strategies and offer information to help communities build climate resilience. 

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State Plans Focused on Resilience

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North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan (2020)

Author: State of North Carolina

This plan serves as a framework to guide state government action, engage policymakers and stakeholders and facilitate collaboration among many partners. The goal of the plan is to protect the state against climate change. It includes the state’s most up-to-date science on climate change, along with projected impacts in different sectors relevant to state government. Strategies include a variety of approaches to manage these impacts.

North Carolina Natural and Working Lands Action Plan (2020)

Author: Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

This document outlines projects that build on a wide range of actions and measures that protect, restore and enhance North Carolina’s land and coastal areas. With a focus on agriculture, forestry and natural lands and waters, projects aim to provide vital health, social, economic and environmental benefits. The plan identifies policy, financial mechanisms and incentives needed to achieve the goals of building ecosystem and community resilience.

North Carolina Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan (2023)

Author: North Carolina Emergency Management

This federally mandated plan identifies North Carolina’s potential hazards and lists actions to reduce the loss of life and property from disasters across the state. The plan enables North Carolina to be eligible for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It includes a consideration of how climate change will impact the state and its communities.

Local and Regional Plans Focused on Resilience

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Asheville Municipal Climate Action Plan (2023)

Author: City of Asheville

This plan presents a roadmap to accomplish carbon mitigation and climate resilience goals. The document states that the city and participating community members should select and manage projects based on equity. The Asheville City Council approved the plan.

Chatham County Heat Action Plan (PDF) (2024)

Author: Chatham County Environmental Health

The plan aims to increase the resilience of residents to current and future heat and extreme heat events. The plan explains the dangers of extreme heat in Chatham County, describes individuals who may be at higher risk from the health impacts of hot weather and outlines several strategies the County can use to help prevent heat-related illnesses.

New Bern Resiliency and Hazard Mitigation Plan (2022)

Author: City of New Bern

Prompted by Hurricane Florence’s 11-foot storm surge, this plan aims to increase community resilience to flood hazards and other climate change impacts. The document includes the results of a risk and vulnerability assessment, a capability assessment and outlines a vision for resilience and an approach to implementation. The plan includes a unique focus on historic preservation. Watch this nine-minute video about the plan. Read this NC Resilience Exchange success story about the development of this plan.

Orange County Climate Action Plan (2023)

Author: Orange County

This document, which focuses on helping the County reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, includes a chapter on building community resilience to climate impacts. The resilience section of the plan focuses on strategies, programs and policies to help residents withstand extreme heat, drought, power outages, flooding and more. The plan includes priority scores for each action. See the plan’s interactive dashboard.

Raleigh Community Climate Action Plan (PDF) (2021)

Author: City of Raleigh

Raleigh’s plan includes a description of the climate risks the city faces and details strategies and actions to address flood risk, heat and other climate and social impacts. The document contains a cross-cutting focus on equity.

Resilient Coastal Communities Program (RCCP) Resilience Strategies

Author: Municipalities in CAMA counties

Phases 1 and 2 of the RCCP, administered by the Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management, provides local governments with a consultant to complete a resilience strategy and identify priority coastal resilience projects. See the Resilient Coastal Communities Dashboard for a map of communities that have completed resilience strategies.

RISE (Regions Innovating for Strong Economies and Environment) Portfolios and Vulnerability Assessments (2023)

Author: North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR)
Geographies: Albemarle Commission, Cape Fear Council of Governments (COG), Central Pines Regional Council (formerly “Triangle J COG”), Eastern Carolina Council, Kerr-Tar Regional COG, Lumber River COG, Mid-Carolina COG, Mid-East Commission and Upper Coastal Plain COG

NCORR worked with each region to produce a vulnerability assessment and a resilience portfolio that identified up to 10 priority projects. Within the nine portfolios, projects span many topics, including wetland restoration for flood mitigation, addressing harmful algal blooms, developing local heat action plans and more.

River Basin Mitigation Reports (2018)

Author: North Carolina Emergency Management and Department of Transportation
Geographies: Lumber, Neuse and Tar River basins

These three studies determine the primary sources of flooding and identify possible mitigation strategies to prevent future flood damage in each basin. The reports provide assessments of flooding sources and structural flood impact.

Triangle Regional Resilience Assessment (2019)

Author: Central Pines Regional Council
Geography: Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Durham County, Orange County, Wake County and the eastern portion of Chatham County

To better prepare for the increasing number of impacts from severe weather and climate-related threats, Central Pines Regional Council — then called the Triangle J Council of Governments — coordinated this assessment. In the context of robust population growth, the document includes a list of recommended strategies to address extreme precipitation, more frequent flooding and increasing temperatures and droughts.

Sample of State and Local Plans that Integrate Climate Resilience

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CAMA Certified Land Use Plans

Author: Coastal Counties

The Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) requires North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties to submit a land use plan that outlines land use policies and serves as a community’s blueprint for growth. Some plans include goals or visions focused on promoting land use and development patterns that mitigate risks to people and property from storms and flooding. Other plans list living shorelines as a better alternative to shoreline stabilization than conventional structures.

A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a five-year plan for regional economic development. All CEDS must incorporate the concept of economic resilience, which the U.S. Economic Development Administration defines as being able to anticipate, withstand and bounce back from any type of shock, disruption or stress — including climate change impacts — it may experience. The following list contains a few examples of CEDS in North Carolina that deal with climate change as an economic threat.

Hurricane Matthew Resilient Redevelopment Plans (2017)

Author: North Carolina Emergency Management

Geography: Eastern half of North Carolina The Disaster Recovery Act of 2016 tasked North Carolina Emergency Management with facilitating the creation of resilient redevelopment plans for the 50 federally declared counties impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Visit this webpage to view four regionally focused plans and the list of completed county plans.

NC Moves 2050 Plan (2021)

Author: Department of Transportation (NC DOT)

This long-term transportation plan aims to create a more responsive, diverse and inclusive transportation system to keep people and freight moving safely and efficiently. The document includes a focus on preparing for more extreme weather events and ensuring that infrastructure such as bridges and roads will withstand future conditions. The implementation section of the plan commits NC DOT to track and report progress toward resilience.

North Carolina Coastal Habitat Protection Plan (2021)

Author: Department of Environmental Quality

This Division of Marine Fisheries plan aims to preserve the long-term sustainability of coastal fisheries through habitat protection and enhancement efforts. The document, which features a chapter on climate change and resiliency, recommends actions to address impacts of climate change on coastal habitats.

Raleigh 2030 Comprehensive Plan (2019)

Author: City of Raleigh

Focus: Land Use, Economic Development and Habitat Conservation The City of Raleigh’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan is a rolling document that incorporates climate resilience into multiple aspects of planning and development initiatives. Chapter 5 discusses the importance of cities actively adapting to climate change and provides resilient goals for the city to meet in nine sectors including energy, natural resources and wildlife preservation.