The Commonwealth now has a plan in place to address sea rise and other hydrological issues caused by a changing global climate. Yesterday outgoing Governor Ralph Northam was on hand in Hampton for the release of the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan.
“Climate change, rising sea levels, sinking land, and storms that are more frequent and more extreme are really causing increased problems in coastal communities,” Northam said. “What we call nuisance flooding is now a regular occurrence.”
The master plan looks ahead as far as the year 2080 and concludes that the number of homes and roadways that will be exposed to extreme coastal flooding will drastically increase between now and then. The plan offers suggestions for what infrastructure is needed to withstand flooding as the geology of the coast changes in the presence of more water. The plan will be updated with additional data.
“This plan has some seriously alarming data,” Northam said. “According to the science, over the next 60 years there will be places in Virginia that will no longer be habitable or accessible. They’ll be flooded temporarily or permanently. And while there are things we can do to protect our communities the plan also shows us that in some places we’re going to have to focus on moving people and structures out of harm’s way.”
Rear Admiral Ann Phillips coordinated the plan in her capacity as the special assistant to Governor Ralph Northam for coastal adaptation. She was one of the speakers at this year’s Resilient Virginia conference and hers is one of several voices in a September 10, 2021 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement. Take a look or a listen!
The website devoted to the plan contains a database that allows people to look at threats as well as mitigation projects. (Virginia Coastal Resilience Web Explorer)
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