So what is Silver Jackets? Silver Jackets teams are collaborative, state-led, interagency teams, working together to develop sustainable solutions to flood risk management at the state level. The Silver Jackets team is the forum where all relevant agencies come together with the state to collaboratively plan and implement an interagency solution.
The South Carolina Silver Jackets team has been active since February 2010. In May 2012, the Silver Jackets finalized and signed the charter that documents each agency’s leadership support of the team’s mission. Active members of the South Carolina team include USACE, FEMA, SCDNR, SCEMD, USGS, NOAA-CSC, NOAA-NWS, SCDOT, NRCS, SCDHEC, SCDHEC-OCRM, and EPA (see side bar).
Over the years, team members have collaborated and shared information pertaining to each agency’s relevant projects and studies. For example, it was essential to protect a piece of SCDOT property during an NRCS stream bank improvement of Turkey Creek in Sumter, SC, while also incorporating a small portion of a USACE flood control project. Relationships built in the Silver Jackets team fostered a smooth USACE evaluation and approval to modify the federal project to appease all agencies involved.
Keeping team members aware of interagency activities is another important part of the communication goal. USGS, in conjunction with SCDOT, has provided updates of revised regional urban flood frequency equations that will combine North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia into one set. Meanwhile, SCDNR and FEMA keep the team updated on the revisions of flood insurance rate mapping and RISKMAP activities in SC and invite team members to discovery meetings. SCDHEC-OCRM also provides updates on proposed shoreline management recommendations and on their development of climate change guidance funded by NOAA. Throughout this process, USACE provided updates on their hurricane evacuation study.
Team members are made aware of conferences and workshops that each agency hosts, such as the recent “NOAA in the Carolinas” conference held in Charleston, and the “SC Association of Hazard Mitigation” conference in April. Team members are encouraged to attend and give presentations.
Additionally, the Silver Jackets program has ongoing pilot studies. One such study, titled “Mapping Coastal Erosion Hazards along Sheltered Coastlines in South Carolina,” expands on recent inventory of historical shorelines and shoreline data in South Carolina. The study is looking to digitize three historical sheltered shorelines for the region and shoreline alterations, such as bulkheads, docks, and revetments. Further, the study will use a new shoreline change analysis method to determine long-term erosion rates. Then, the results will be evaluated to determine what drives erosion to certain “hot spots” and any other implications for future protection and implementation of alterations.
South Carolina Silver Jackets team members are always looking for creative ways to cooperate with each other and leverage resources towards the common good of the state.