Active programs

Agriculture Resilience: Flood Mitigation through Conservation

Purpose: To gain input from the Eastern North Carolina agricultural community on opportunities for conservation practices to be used as a flood mitigation tool. Phase I is part of a larger project focused on 1) identifying natural infrastructure practices suitable for the Cape Fear, Lumber and Neuse River basins, 2) estimating how different natural infrastructure scenarios – including different degrees of floodplain expansion, and stream and wetland restoration – could improve water quality and reduce downstream flooding, as well as 3) determining the magnitude of storm events that could be managed through natural infrastructure. Phase II’s goals include 1) evaluating co-benefits of water quality enhancement to flood reduction and mitigation, 2) design demonstration farm watershed-level approaches to implement “FloodWise” practices, and 3) work with communities to encourage adoption of best practices through affected watersheds.

Support: Phase I is funded by a $50,000 subcontract with NC Sea Grant and NC State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Biological & Agriculture Engineering through a larger project, the NC Policy Collaboratory’s Strengthening Flood Resilience in Eastern North Carolina. Phase II is funded by a $50,000 subcontract with NC State University College of Natural Resources Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources Environmental Enhancement Grant from the NC Department of Justice.

Current Work: Phase I is exploring the agriculture community’s input in partnership with the Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District with Phase II expanding to the Robeson Soil and Water Conservation District. Other partners include NC Cooperative Extension, NC State University College of Design Coastal Dynamics Design Lab, UNC Chapel Hill School of Government Department of City and Regional Planning, NC Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, NC Farm Bureau Federation, and Environmental Defense Fund.

Accomplishments: The final report titled Improving North Carolina’s Resilience to Coastal Riverine Flooding, as presented to the NC General Assembly June of 2021, is now available.  The Foundation’s contribution to the report (section 7.2) can be found here.  The Project Summary Report Natural Systems: Improving Resilience to Coastal Riverine Flooding is also available as well as additional information regarding coastal riverine flooding on the NC Sea Grant website.  To read the final report, contact the Foundation or visit the NC Policy Collaboratory.