North Caroline Resilient Communities / RISE Program


The North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) and the NC Rural Center, in collaboration with the North Carolina Councils of Government (NC COGs), are working with NCORR's RISE Program to develop a portfolio of priority projects that strengthen regional resilience. This multi-phase effort includes a forward-looking vulnerability assessment, the identification of 5 to 10 high-priority projects, and a list of the actions needed to implement each proposed project. A diverse stakeholder partnership is guiding the project to ensure that the scope of work reflects local priorities.

The Cape Fear Regional Stakeholder Partnership includes Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, and Pender counties.

RISE Project 

The RISE Project aims to support resilience primarily in the storm-impacted regions of Eastern North Carolina in three primary ways:

  • Hosting regional leadership training workshops that emphasize resilience as a tool for community economic development.
  • Developing the North Carolina Resilient Communities Guide, a statewide resource detailing the different avenues, supports, and opportunities for building community resiliency
  • Providing coaching and technical assistance to regional partners to support community vulnerability assessments, identify priority actions to reduce risk and enhance resilience in their region, and develop paths to implementation.

Phase 1: Community Engagement & Risk / Vulnerability Assessment

The first phase of the project includes performing a risk and vulnerability assessment, developing a community action team, and engaging with the public. This analysis brings together science and local knowledge to paint a picture of hazards in the region and how they may change in the future.

Phase 2: Planning, Project Identification, & Prioritization

Phase 2 of the program involves a community- and data-driven process to identify priority actions that can be taken to adapt to short- and long-term hazards. This phase of the project includes the development of a portfolio of several projects that have regional benefits for resilience. Proposed projects could include construction projects, nature-based solutions, outreach and capacity-building activities, or planning and policy developments. The regional benefit could come in many forms, such as reducing downstream flooding, offering a resource to multiple local governments, or crafting a pilot project that may be replicated in other places.

Phase 3: Engineering & Design

Phase 3 is the engineering, design, and permitting of the prioritized projects. A critical component of developing the portfolio is finding achievable paths to implementation, including funding sources and capacity considerations. Grants will be available for communities that successfully completed Phases 1 and 2 to develop shovel-ready projects.

Phase 4: Project Implementation

Phase 4 grants will be available for communities who successfully completed Phases 1, 2, and 3 for implementation of a shovel-ready project(s), and must include a natural or nature-based component.

There will be two final products: A vulnerability assessment that stands alone but is also appropriate for integration into regional and local plans, grant applications, public presentations, and other planning tools; and the regional resilience portfolio, which will include goals, a summary of the vulnerability assessment, selected priority projects, and the implementation plans for the priority projects.