PHOTOS COURTESY CHARLESTON DISTRICT
Lt. Col. Rachel Honderd and Wes Wilson discuss the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study and how it will tie into the infrastructure already in place.
PENINSULA STUDY DRAWS SWEEPING PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT BY JACKIE PENNOYER, Charleston District
fter an extended 60-day public review period, the draft report for the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study has received nearly 500 comments from community members and stakeholders across the region. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Charleston District, which manages the three-year, $3 million, fully federally funded study, began investigating coastal storm risks on a low-lying stretch of the Charleston peninsula in October 2018. This area includes the region’s most robust medical district – resting on flood-prone, reclaimed marsh – and historic resources, dating back to some of the nation’s first settlements. The study was requested by the city of Charleston to augment the community’s proactive discussions about comprehensive, long-term
flood reduction strategies. USACE’s study, which integrates findings by the city’s Dutch Dialogues™ effort and considers other city actions and climate-related concerns, primarily examines storm surge and the risks of coastal storm events – both significant threats for the peninsula and within USACE’s jurisdictional scope. The initial comment period kicked off April 20 after the state and nation had already begun dealing with the uncertainty associated with the coronavirus. In addition to the already-expanded public comment period, the study team mounted a dynamic outreach strategy to help foster an engaging public review and keep the study on a congressionally mandated timeline. As part of the draft report release, the team designed and launched an interactive online presentation, walking viewers 49