Roadmap to Resilience: Implementing Federal Nature-Based Solutions Recommendations for Climate Resilience at Coastal North Carolina State Parks

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Coastal North Carolina is increasingly impacted by threats of climate change that are only going to intensify in the coming years. Sea-level rise, saltwater intrusion, and increases in temperatures, floods, droughts, and intense storm events are imminent threats to coastal NC State Parks. Nature-based solutions (NbS) provide a way to work with nature to improve ecosystem and community resilience to a changing climate. To help combat the climate change crisis and find solutions to an impending problem, the Biden-Harris administration released the “Opportunities for Accelerating Nature-Based Solutions: A Roadmap for Climate Progress, Thriving Nature, Equity, and Prosperity” in November 2022. The purpose of the administration’s Roadmap is to promote the use of NbS projects in federal climate resilience projects across the country. This paper will utilize the Roadmap as a template to advocate for increasing the use of NbS in coastal NC State Parks to improve climate resilience, as well as emphasize the urgent need for a climate resilience plan specific to the State Park System. Specifically, increasing the use of living shorelines and green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) as NbS techniques will be emphasized. Understanding and planning for landscape-scale changes due to present and future climate change impacts is crucial to the conservation, recreation, and operations of State Parks.