Coastal Resilience Center

The Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC) conducts research and offers education. The aim of the organization is to enhance the resilience of the nation’s people. To improve infrastructure and economy. It aims at the natural environment on the impact of coastal hazards. These include floods and hurricanes, including the effects of future trends.

The CRC is led by the University of North Carolina. This is possible with a five-year $20 million grant, provided by the Department of Homeland Security. The CRC is an alliance of private companies, universities, and government agencies, all with a similar focus on applied research, education and outreach. They address threats to coastal communities due to natural hazards.

The Center amplifies the work overseen by the DHS Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence. The center was co-led by UNC-Chapel Hill and Jackson State University from 2008 to 2015. There have been various successful outcomes of conducted research. They are all supported by the Coastal Hazards Center and can be found on the official website.


The CRC’s leadership team is composed of various professionals. These include;

1. Dr. Rick Luettich – Lead Principal Investigator

2. Tom Richardson – Executive Director

3. Dr. Robert Whalin – Education and Workforce Development Director

4. Anna Schwab – Program Manager

5. Josh Kastrinsky – Communications Manager.

Expected Outcomes

The Coastal Resilience Center has a mission to conduct research and educate. Some of the outcomes they expect to receive from their work include;

· More accurate storm surge models. There is also timely delivery of high-resolution surge predictions for approaching storms.

· Support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in producing improved forecasts of coastal threats. It helps to have better pre-disaster plans. It also provides improved methods to integrate coastal hazards into community planning processes.

· Enhance the communication channels used to broadcast concerns to multiple audiences. It also encourages them to take action based on that understanding.

· Inspire and develop the next generation of hazards researchers and practitioners. It emphasizes the development of certificate and degree programs in minority-serving educational institutions.

Flood Apex Program

This program partners with the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate. It aims to save lives and reduce property loss. It also enhances resilience to disruptive flood events.

The department created the Flood Apex Program in 2014. It is to bring new and emerging technologies together. This will help to increase communities’ resilience to flood events. It will also provide predictive analytic tools for floods. The goals of the program include;

· Reducing the financial impacts and hardships of future flood events

· Increasing community flexibility to challenges / impacts created by flooding

· Developing better investment strategies. These help to prepare financial reserves for responding to, and recovering from flood hazards.

Hurricane Matthew Recovery

The Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative (HMDRRI) requires university commitment, this commitment also stems from within the faculty and student body. It also requires professional planning experts in addressing community and state-level needs and any/all other needs associated with recovery from Hurricane Matthew. The initiative’s objectives are to:

1. Be the focal point of communication for all UNC faculty, students and staff and assist the state with addressing a wide range of identified policy and technical issues.

2. Engage with select communities. This is to assist them to identify local needs. It also helps them develop post-disaster recovery plans.

CRC Exchange Programs

The Center manages multiple exchange programs. This allows students in various disciplines to learn from partner institutions. Students are able to host research teams from Minority Serving Institutions. There are also guest lectures. Some of these programs include;

· SUMREX: The summer research experience matches students from CRC programs with research projects. The student experience includes 12 full weeks of CRC-funded program work within the confines of the research campus site, these programs have been established as key pipelines between partners.

· Summer Research Team: CRC offers a 10 week summer program in partnership with the student body from nearby Minority Serving Institutions. The SRT program is a 10 week summer internship that provides quality research experiences to early career faculty members. Other beneficiaries are students attending Minority Serving Institutions in the United States. The goal of the program is to foster relationships amongst partner institutions that will drive the success of future long-term projects. It also aims to enhance scientific leadership at MSIs in DHS-relevant research areas.

· RETALK: RETALK is short for Research Talks. The program facilitates guest lectures from researchers. The researchers come from institutions hosting the Center’s education projects.

The RETALK program has four objectives:
Circulate knowledge from CRC research partners and their work with students
Foster collaboration and integration among the Center’s projects
Encourage the interest of graduate students currently immersed in studies at partner university programs
Strengthen the CRC by building relationships between principal investigators

Prediction System

The ADCIRC Prediction System uses the ADCIRC model. This model provides timely, high-resolution information, and focuses on how coastal storm surge, flooding, and winds will impact a coastal community. It often has greater precision than other available sources. The prediction system can be used to analyze the response. This is due to historical storms, statistical sets of storms for risk analysis and design. It uses hypothetical storms to plan scenarios and forecast real-time storm events.

These Prediction system results are available to the public on the Coastal Emergency website.

The Role of States in Disaster Recovery

“The Role of States in Disaster Recovery” is a video project produced by the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC). It highlights the roles played by state agency officials and state recovery organizations. It also includes governors in disaster recovery following extreme events. The video is part of a larger project that includes a training guide, journal articles, and a future book on the same subject. The project explains the role of the state in disaster recovery. It includes the key roles assumed by executive and mid-level managers. These are governors and state agency officials tasked with disaster recovery duties.

The Coastal Resilience Center is a consortium of organizations. These include universities, private companies and government agencies. It focuses on applied research, education and outreach. These address threats to coastal communities due to natural hazards.