As Secretary Kerry noted, Virginia's Hampton Roads area, experiencing increasing coastal flooding due to sea level rise, is a microcosm of the bigger risks facing our nation and world.
sea level rise
Forty bipartisan local elected officials delivered a powerful message at a recent summit: Coastal flooding is becoming more costly and dangerous for people, businesses and cities along America’s shorelines—and policy makers at all levels of government, as well as presidential candidates, need to pay attention.
HAMPTON, N.H. (October 24, 2015)– Coastal flooding is growing more dangerous and costly for people and businesses along America’s shorelines, according to a bipartisan group of local elected officials who spoke at a national summit on the issue today. The Rising Tides summit brought more than 35 mayors and local elected officials to Hampton, N.H., to discuss strategies to cope with increasingly severe coastal flooding amplified by sea level rise.
The frequency of days with “nuisance flooding,” or flooding that causes road closures, overwhelmed storm drains and other public inconveniences, has increased dramatically in many U.S. coastal cities since the mid-1960s—and the threats are worsening.
The impacts of coastal flooding and sea level rise are already being felt by coastal communities across the United States. Coastal shoreline counties are home to more than 123 million Americans and account for nearly half the U.S. GDP. Homes, property and critical infrastructure within these communities face a growing threat from coastal flooding as sea levels continue to rise.
Mayors from across the U.S. political spectrum will gather in New Hampshire later this month to discuss ways to help their communities deal with rising seas, recurring coastal floods and the need for more leadership and support at the state and national levels.
A bipartisan group of county governments are taking action to protect Florida's coastal communities from sea level rise. Will they inspire greater momentum at the state and federal levels?
While the climate change debate continues in some quarters in Washington, the impact of sea-level rise cut across political divides at the “Rising to the Challenge” conference in Norfolk, Virginia, earlier this week. Members of Congress and Virginia mayors from both political parties joined military and state and local officials to discuss the challenges sea level rise presents to the Hampton Roads area, as well as how to promote federal, state and local action.
“We cannot afford to do nothing, it is time to act,” Mayor Sessoms said, underscoring that the impacts of climate change are not a political issue, but a backyard issue threatening communities in Virginia.
The Hampton Roads area in Virginia is experiencing the highest rates of sea-level rise along the entire U.S. East Coast. The area is also second only to New Orleans, LA, as the largest population center at risk from sea-level rise in the country.
This fact sheet provides information...
In an article originally published in Tampa Bay Times, Lee Thomas discusses the effects of climate change in Florida, and the need for state-level action.