Data to Support Coastal Adaptation & Resiliency

The following geospatial datasets and mapping viewers can help inform many types of activities including comprehensive and hazard mitigation plan updates, vulnerability assessments; stormwater or parks and recreation plans development; flood zone workshops, and other events serving both technical and general audiences.

These data sources should supplement the current and most accurate data found at the local level in the different municipal or county departments (e.g., planning, geographic information systems (GIS), public works, parks and recreation, etc.). If using data to support policy or other programs, be sure to examine, understand, and be transparent about the metadata or 'data about the data' such as source, resolution, geographic projection, update frequency, etc.

Don't see what you're looking for below? Visit the Tools for Adaptation and Resilience page for related data and mapping resources.

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Social Vulnerability:

Social vulnerability, often expressed as an index, can be measured by and consist of a variety of different factors (e.g., unemployment, household income, race and ethnicity, etc.). Before incorporating or using the data below, we recommend visiting the social vulnerability section of the Planning and Policy page.

North Carolina:

  • N.C. OneMap Geoportal: download various regional and state data such as parcels, satellite imagery, roads and more.
  • N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Online GIS: View and download data from across DEQ. Filter data by topic (e.g., air, water, land, boundaries, regulatory, monitoring, recovery, restoration, remediation, and education/outreach) or by division.



  • NOAA's Digital Coast Data: A national database of coastal resources that can be filtered by type and location. Types of data include: topography and bathymetry, land cover, weather, climate, and hazards, imagery, economic and demographic, boundaries, marine habitat and species, ocean uses and planning areas, and shoreline and surface water.

The Nature Conservancy:

NC Division of Coastal Management:

NOAA, USGS, & Others:

Generating community support to explore and make tough decisions about investing in long-term resilience requires proof or evidence that the action will have a positive impact on the economy, environment and/or society. While being able to document and provide a detailed and inclusive cost-benefit analysis using local data is ideal, sometimes communities must rely on evidence or statistics that are based on work done regionally or nationally. The data summaries and associated infographics below can serve as reliable information that can back up the argument being made to take certain actions towards adaptation and resilience.

  • NOAA Coastal County Snapshots: Access count-specific data about flood exposure (e.g., demographics, infrastructure, and environment within the flood zone), ocean jobs (e.g., the economic value of ocean-dependent jobs), and wetland benefits (e.g., contributions to safer, cleaner, and more economically productive communities). 
  • NOAA Coastal Fast Facts: View relevant national statistics and infographics for use in presentations or discussion to help make the case for investing in coastal resilience.

2019 NC State Climate Summary (National Centers for Environmental Information): View the latest climate science summary and associated graphics developed for the state.

  • Key Messages:
    • Mean annual temperature has increased by almost 1 degree Fahrenheit since the beginning of the 20th century. Under a higher emissions pathway, historically unprecedented warming is projected by the end of the 21st century.
    • The number of landfall hurricanes in North Carolina is highly variable from year to year. Hurricane-associated storm intensity and rainfall rates are projected to increase as the climate warms.
    • A large portion of North Carolina's coastline is extremely vulnerable to projected sea level rise due to its low elevation and subsidence of land in the northern part of the Coastal Plain. By the end of the 21st century, global sea level is projected to rise 1-8 feet, with a likely range of 1-4 feet.

Figure 1. Observed extreme precipitation events (annual number of days with precipitation of 3 inches or more; 1900–2018), averaged over 5-year periods (bars; last bar represents 4-year average).

Source: CICS-NC and NOAA NCEI.