South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has proposed the creation of a chief resiliency office position at the highest levels of state government to help coordinate the state’s response to extreme storms and sea level rise flooding.
According to a report in The Post and Courier, the resiliency chief would develop plans to seek federal funding for flood mitigation projects, control development in vulnerable areas, and improve how the state responds to disasters.
If the new position is approved, South Carolina would join Florida and North Carolina — states long considered resistant to discussing climate change and sea level rise flooding — in appointing a high level official to deal with the problems created by global warming.
The South Carolina climate change czar would also be responsible for collecting the latest climate change information and relaying it to government officials and the public. Local government officials have told the state they need money for seawalls, drainage improvements and other projects to hold back rising tides. Charleston alone estimates it needs $2 billion to protect residents and real estate.
It’s unclear at this point whether Gov. McMaster’s proposal will get the support it needs from the state legislature. Meanwhile, sea level continues to rise.