Sea levels encroach upon Virginia coast

The EPA report said governments have three options to deal with sea-level rise: They can stay on the well-worn path of building expensive protection and raising streets and buildings. They can beat an organized retreat from the shore, perhaps by offering financial incentives to people and organizations to move inland. Or they can allow people to do whatever they want for their waterfront properties but tell them in no uncertain terms that they are on their own when the waters rise.

A boy stands in the ocean at Virginia Beach. Photo by DavidLind on Flickr used under Creative Commons.

From “A new way of thinking as sea levels rise,” a Washington Post piece that outlines the difficult realities facing the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area, but also shows that planners and government officials there are starting to take a more serious look at sea level rise. The Norfolk area is facing the double whammy of rising sea levels caused by a warming climate and the sinking of its land for geological reasons.

The Navy base in Norfolk is at sea level, as are many other U.S. military bases. Sarah Chacko created an interactive graphic explaining some of the challenges facing these bases as part of the Global Warning project where I was also a fellow.

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