North Carolina Is Using Nature-Based Solutions to Address Flooding

Collected resources on the Tar Heel State’s resilience investments and planning

North Carolina's Nature-Based Solutions to Address Flooding
The Riverfront Park & Live Oak Bank Pavilion in Wilmington, North Carolina features nature-based solutions, like native plantings and a wetland to mitigate flooding.
The planning and development of Riverfront Park, a former industrial site turned outdoor public space in Wilmington, North Carolina, prioritized nature-based features—a living shoreline, native plantings, and permeable pavement—that help manage stormwater runoff and reduce flood risk.
Hargreaves Jones Hendy Street

Rising seas and stronger storms caused by climate change have increased the risk of flooding across North Carolina. At the same time, significant growth in population and development in recent decades has further raised the stakes, with floods inundating roads, damaging infrastructure, and disrupting local economies from the coast to the mountains.

After Hurricane Florence in 2018, Governor Roy Cooper (D) signed an executive order directing cabinet agencies to develop and implement the North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan—a comprehensive strategy to address the threats of climate change. The Pew Charitable Trusts is working with state officials to support implementation of the plan and promote nature-based solutions. These techniques, ranging from backyard rain gardens to acres of restored flood plain, can be incorporated across development and transportation projects, as well as on agricultural and other working lands.

This page shares resources on Pew’s work helping North Carolina harness the benefits of natural flood protection to support continued economic growth while creating a more resilient future.