Carolyn Mitchell PLA collaborates with planners, engineers, and technical analysts to evaluate strategies to preserve or adapt vulnerable landscapes. ​​​​​​

Adaptation and Resilience Plan, Marine Recruit Depot Parris Island

Encroaching high tide line and ghost forest at Charlesfort/Santa Elena National Historic Landmark. Image credit: Carolyn Mitchell PLA

​​​​​​​Carolyn was the lead resilience planner for the Leidos/Louis Berger-led Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan for Parris Island. The plan received the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award for Sustainability in 2021. The military significance of this island overlooking the Port Royal Sound began in the 16th century and the character of the landscape continues to shape the identity and ethos of the Marine Corps recruits who train here. The landscape as a whole is significant for its current and historic military use. Development of decision-quality analysis of the requirements for preservation of the entire training landscape was a goal for the climate change plan. Adaptations required to achieve that included adding green infrastructure throughout the installation to manage stormwater and heat island effects in the near term and protection and enhancement of the island's natural buffers to manage the transition of the natural communities.

Navy Installation Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Planning Handbook 

Image credit: Louis Berger, Inc.

Carolyn was one of the principal authors of the Navy's Installation Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Planning Handbook led by Leidos and Louis Berger, Inc. The handbook is for installation master planners at the Navy's more than 500 installations worldwide to assist them in addressing climate change adaptation. It was published in January 2017 and presented at the 2018 American Planning Association Federal Planning Division conference in New York City where it won an Honor Award.. The US Congress designated the handbook as the standard for the Department of Defense. Carolyn was also the lead resilience planner for one of the Navy's first implementations of the planning process at Parris Island where she assisted the client to identify process improvements for scoping studies of this kind that will be addressed in subsequent editions of the handbook. 
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