Charleston County, College of Charleston and South Carolina Aquarium Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Create the Center of Resilience Excellence South Carolina

Staff Report From Charleston CEO

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Charleston County, the College of Charleston, and the South Carolina Aquarium have partnered to create a new center of excellence with a focus on community and resilience. The Center of Resilience Excellence South Carolina (CORE SC) will collaborate with organizations throughout the state, country and globe that provide best practices on resilience.

This partnership was formed because of the team’s work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formally establishes the partnership among the three founding organizations and authorizes them to develop the Center while expanding their relationship with NASA and other organizations.

“The challenge of resilience affects the citizens of Charleston County every day,” said Elliott Summey, Charleston County Council Chairman. “From flooding to water quality to today’s COVID-19 pandemic, the time for an organizations like CORE SC is now.”

"Issues of resilience threaten us all, from people and property to wildlife and wild places,” said Jonathan Zucker, Aquarium Board Chair. “We feel a special obligation to make sure that everyone is informed about what is at stake and who is at risk. CORE SC will be an effective tool to South Carolina and its residents to be more resilient."

“Now, more than ever, the concept of resilience is critical to our community’s survival, both on a local and global level. Resilience, at its core, is about problem solving. It’s really that basic. Through CORE SC, the College of Charleston, collaborating with these great partners at the S.C. Aquarium and Charleston County, will bring together the area’s top minds – experts in a wide range of disciplines and fields – and will work together to find real solutions to the myriad problems we face due to climate change,” said President Andrew Hsu of the College of Charleston.

CORE SC is designed to be the nexus for research, innovation, and collaboration that leads to actionable outcomes to improve community and societal resiliency. Acting also as a virtual hub, CORE SC supports, connects, and coordinates state, national, and international partners engaged in all aspects of the life cycle of resilient program development. These aspects may include ideation, research, data acquisition, policy creation, prototype implementation, field-testing, deployment, maintenance, and commercialization.

CORE SC will focus on five central resiliency sectors:

1. Water – maintaining healthy drinking water, mitigation of coastal erosion, sea-level rise, filtering and controlling storm run-off, responding to climate change

2. Energy – Testing, developing, deploying renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, water, battery, bio-sources

3. Connectivity – Ensuring societal access to internet and other means of communication

4. Agriculture – Providing sustainable food sources

5. Natural Hazards – Mitigating and communicating/responding to effects of earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, hurricanes, tornados, and other natural hazards