Flooding and sea level rise are challenges the City of Charleston has taken seriously for centuries. However, Charleston is experiencing flooding more frequently than ever.
Per NOAA tide gauge data, Charleston has experienced 1.07 FT of sea level rise in the past 100 years.
Notably, this rate is non-linear as almost 1/2 the total amount of sea level rise in the last 100 years has been in the last 20 years, (approx. 0.5 FT). That means the rate of sea level rise is increasing faster now than in the past.
Initiatives that will improve our ability to withstand flooding and sea level rise challenges are outlined in the 2019 Flooding and Sea Level Rise Strategy. The Strategy recommends planning for 2.0 to 3.0 feet of sea level rise over the next fifty years. As scientists’ projections for sea level rise change, the City will review its planning projections. Many of the initiatives identified are already completed or in progress. Others need to be evaluated and prioritized over the coming years, particularly those which require unique funding.