Faces of Resiliency

The Faces of Resiliency video series highlights how communities are increasing their resilience to sea level rise, storm surge and flooding. 

The series, developed by Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, features interviews with coastal residents and researchers who share stories of adapting to coastal hazards through community engagement and collaboration with scientists, nonprofits or government agencies.

Each video highlights a different example of how communities are increasing resilience, including preserving salt marsh habitat, implementing green infrastructure, restoring dunes, engaging in environmental justice and community planning, and improving science communication.

Conserving Georgia’s Salt Marshes

Georgia’s extensive salt marshes protect the coast by reducing erosion, buffering wave energy and filtering runoff. Rising sea levels are causing marshes to migrate inland; however, development along estuarine shorelines can impede their natural migration. Living shorelines are a form of green infrastructure that use oysters and native plants to stabilize shorelines while providing space for marshes to migrate in the future.

John “Crawfish” Crawford, Resident and Retired UGA Naturalist
Joel Kostka, Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Biology at Georgia Tech
Christi Lambert, Director of Coastal and Marine Conservation, The Nature Conservancy – Georgia

Adapting with Green Infrastructure

Roads, buildings, or parking lots are a necessary part of communities but these impervious surfaces lead to stormwater runoff that carries pollutants to local waterways, impacting human and environmental health. Green infrastructure uses nature-based materials to treat and filter stormwater, like the large-scale bioretention project implemented at Howard Coffin Park in Brunswick that is improving water quality of the surrounding area. 

Brian Bledsoe, UGA Athletic Association Professor & Director, UGA College of Engineering
Jessica Brown, Stormwater Specialist, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant
Shawn Williams, Founder, Coastal Outreach Soccer

Restoring Dunes to Protect Coastal Communities

Storm surge from hurricanes has significant impacts on coastal communities. Healthy dune systems act as a natural barrier to storm surge. Communities like the City of Tybee Island are conserving and restoring Georgia’s coastal dunes by raising their elevation, planting grasses and installing beach fences that help build and protect these habitats. 

Alan Robertson, Project Manager, Tybee Island Coastal Resilience
Tim Arnold, Resident
Lissa M. Leege, Professor of Biology, Georgia Southern University

Enhancing Equity in Flood Resilience

Marginalized communities in urban and rural areas in coastal Georgia are at risk of flooding due to higher density housing, less green space, or failing stormwater management systems. Residents in Savannah and Brunswick are getting involved in the decision making process by working with municipalities to raise awareness of the need to adapt infrastructure in flooding hotspots and build resilience. 

Dawud Shabaka, Associate Director, Harambee House, Inc./Citizens of Environmental Justice
William Kitts, Urbana/Perry Park Neighborhood Planning Assembly
Semona Holmes, Urbana/Perry Park Neighborhood Planning Assembly

Planning for Future Flooding and Sea Level Rise

Climate change is exacerbating sea level rise and flooding on the coast. In Georgia, coastal municipalities and resource managers are proactively planning for these impacts by elevating homes and participating in federal programs that reward communities for implementing resilience measures. 

Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor, UGA Department of Geography/Atmospheric Sciences
Jennifer Kline, Coastal Hazards Specialist, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Scott Brazell, CRS, E&S Coordinator, Camden County

Improving Flood Literacy in Coastal Georgia

Terms related to flood hazards are being used inconsistently among professionals that work in coastal management and emergency response. This can create confusion among residents who rely on experts for information during extreme weather events. The Georgia Flood Literacy Project is establishing consistent definitions and flood terminology to be used by professionals, improving communication and public safety. 

Meghan Angelina, Wetlands Biologist, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Al Sandrik, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS Jacksonville


This project is funded under grant award NA20NOS4190175 to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources from the Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of DNR, OCM, or NOAA.
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