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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.

Rising Tides in the United States

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.

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.

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