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Joseph F. Bouchard, Ph.D. November 13, 2014 Sea Level Rise in Hampton Roads.

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Presentation on theme: "Joseph F. Bouchard, Ph.D. November 13, 2014 Sea Level Rise in Hampton Roads."— Presentation transcript:

1 Joseph F. Bouchard, Ph.D. November 13, 2014 Sea Level Rise in Hampton Roads

2 Sea Level is Rising Faster in Hampton Roads than Globally Tide gauge data (global) Satellite data Local tide gauge (Norfolk) Source: Tal Ezer, Old Dominion University, “Sea Level Rise and Floods in the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic Region,” March 14, 2013 Over the last 20 years the rate of increase in Hampton Roads has been about 6.6 mm/yr Why? Global seal level rise Subsidence Ocean Dynamics

3 The Forecast for Hampton Roads Source: Dr. Carl Hershner, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2012 This graph takes the IPCC global forecast and adjusts it to reflect relative sea level rise in Coastal Virginia Coastal Virginia is tracking along the yellow curve

4 Coastal Virginia National Geographic Every coastal community on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts is threatened by sea level rise. Those that adapt effectively will have a significant competitive advantage over those that do not. New Orleans Mobile Tampa Miami Outer Banks Atlantic City Charleston Savannah Jacksonville Note: This map shows the worst case scenario of 18 feet of sea level rise. It clearly shows the vulnerable coastal areas being referred to as the “Flood Belt.” Current projections are for 3-6 feet of sea level rise by 2100, depending on local conditions. The Flood Belt

5 Fort Eustis Langley AFB Naval Station Norfolk JEB Little Creek Dam Neck Coast Guard Base Naval Hospital Naval Shipyard Military Bases are Threatened

6 Newport News Shipbuilding Norfolk International Terminal Portsmouth Marine Terminal APM Terminal Lambert Point Coal Terminal Several Shipyards and Terminals Shipyards and Terminals are Threatened

7 Tourism Industry is Threatened in Coastal Virginia Chincoteague too Jamestown Fort Monroe Eastern Shore Barrier Islands (Most of them a nature preserve) Atlantic Coast of Virginia Beach Chesapeake Bay Coast of Virginia Beach and First Landing park Downtown Portsmouth and Norfolk

8 On-Going Efforts in Virginia City of Norfolk Planning Efforts Hampton Roads Planning District Commission Special Committee on Recurrent Flooding and Sea Level Rise Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission General Assembly: Joint Subcommittee on Recurrent Flooding Local universities playing an important role Virginia Institute of Marine Science ODU Mitigation and Resilience Institute William & Mary Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic A few cautionary thoughts: The problem is not just recurrent flooding Also must address permanent inundation and tidal flooding The terms “preparedness” and “resilience” are being interpreted too narrowly Commonly used for emergency planning – plan, prepare, mitigate, respond, recover Also must address adaptation broadly, not just emergency preparedness Impact on natural environment is being given little attention Focus is on infrastructure and economic impact

9 Recommendations for the Commonwealth Direct All Commonwealth agencies to adopt adaptation plans Create Assistant to the Governor for Climate Change Adaptation and Preparedness Establish permanent advisory panel on climate change adaptation analogous to the Secure Commonwealth Panel – membership including state agencies and private sector Foster federal, state and local cooperation on adaptation planning (industry, too) Require sea level rise be addressed in transportation planning and funding decisions Require Planning District Commissions in Coastal Virginia to coordinate regional adaptation planning Require sea level rise be addressed in all local infrastructure plans in Coastal Virginia for which the Commonwealth provides funding Grant the State Corporation Commission authority to mandate preparedness and resilience standards for privately owned critical infrastructure Understand the impact of changes in the National Flood Insurance Program and ensure local governments have the authority and tools they need to adapt Encourage all local jurisdictions in Coastal Virginia to achieve Community Rating System level 8 or better – and provide the support they need to accomplish this Complete LIDAR mapping and incorporate into GIS standardized across all of Coastal Virginia

10 Foster Inter-Governmental – federal, state and local – cooperation and coordination on climate change preparedness and resilience President’s 11/1/2013 Executive Order is a step in the right direction Require Federal agencies to include climate change preparedness and resilience in all of their programs affected by climate change, especially their infrastructure investments Require Federal agencies that regulate privately-owned critical infrastructure to include climate change preparedness and resilience in their requirements Require sea level rise forecast be factored into decisions on funding and grants for state and local governments related to infrastructure construction, renovation and upgrades All programs – transportation, homeland security, education, HHS, HUD Account for sea level rise and increased storm surge over the planned life of the project Require climate change adaptation planning be done on a regional basis As is required for transportation – TPO Commerce Department should require climate change adaptation be addressed in every region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Improve access to scientific and technical information and best practices Several Federal agencies involved – but local governments unsure who to turn to Recommendations for the Federal Government

11 Resources City of Norfolk – Flooding Awareness and Mitigation Hampton Roads Planning District Commission FEMA Flood Map Service Center NOAA Office for Coastal Management Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Storm Damage Reduction North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study Virginia Institute of Marine Science Center for Coastal Resources Management Recurrent Flooding Study for Tidewater Virginia William & Mary Law School – Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program Secure Commonwealth Panel, Recurrent Flooding Report 2014 Governor’s Commission on Climate Change 2008 Wetlands Watch

12 Questions? O’Malley ready for sea level rise

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