Woodruff discovered that these plans drew upon multiple data sources to analyze future climate impacts and that they included a breadth of strategies. Most plans she studied, however, fail to prioritize strategies or provide implementation details. Her findings suggest that to improve adaptation planning in North Carolina, plan authors should 1) provide implementation details such as timelines, costs and evaluation metrics, 2) consider a range of potential future scenarios to most effectively account for uncertainty and 3) coordinate adaptation with existing planning efforts. Additionally, her research suggests that planners and elected officials should be engaged in the planning process.
Woodruff has shared her findings with policymakers, practitioners, scientists and students across the state. She has presented her findings publicly, including at the Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference, and is working with multiple stakeholders to create tools they can use to identify and prioritize strategies, and build support for adaptation plans.