*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper will report on the organizational forms and governance arrangements employed by these initiatives to address coastal sustainability issues in the greater Wilmington region. Data will be collected through a review of plans, strategy statements, monitoring reports, and funding agreements that have used some kind of a sustainability framework. Particular attention will be paid to governance features characterized by adaptability, responsiveness to community concerns, integrated decision-making, and coordinated implementation. Where available, data on the performance of these organizations and networks also will be analyzed.
Initiatives to be studied include:
- The network tasked with developing an approved land use plan pursuant to the state’s Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) and the steering committee currently being formed to oversee the latest update to the plan;
- The partnership between the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), and several other public and private organizations as formalized in the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Coalition (SDC), a local 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that recognizers public agencies, developers, and homeowners for efforts to sustainably develop and redevelop their property;
- The City’s recent commitment to test sustainability concepts by focusing on energy conservation, green building, and efforts to reduce waste and minimize impacts on natural resources (several of these projects have won SDC awards for innovativeness); and
- The Lower Cape Fear Sustainable Communities Consortium, which is one of only 54 regional groups nationwide to receive U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) grant funding under the HUD/EPA/DOT Sustainable Communities Planning Grant program and to be granted “Preferred Sustainability Status” by HUD for initiatives to involve public, not-for-profit, and private sectors in the planning process. Currently, the Consortium is in the process of developing a sustainability plan for the three coastal counties of Pender, New Hanover, and Brunswick to address a mix of urban and barrier beach issues, including energy, climate protection, sea level rise, waterfront access, wetland protection, and air and water quality.