Bouchard-Slides-for - University of Virginia

Sea Level Rise in Hampton Roads
Joseph F. Bouchard, Ph.D.
November 13, 2014
Sea Level is Rising Faster in Hampton Roads than Globally
Over the last 20 years
the rate of increase in
Hampton Roads has
been about 6.6 mm/yr
Global seal level rise
Ocean Dynamics
Source: Tal Ezer, Old Dominion University, “Sea Level Rise and Floods in the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic Region,” March 14, 2013
The Forecast for Hampton Roads
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
Source: Dr. Carl Hershner, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2012
The Flood Belt
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
Atlantic City
Coastal Virginia
Outer Banks
New Orleans
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.
National Geographic
Military Bases are Threatened
Langley AFB
Fort Eustis
Naval Station Norfolk
JEB Little Creek
Coast Guard Base
Naval Hospital
Naval Shipyard
Dam Neck
Shipyards and Terminals are Threatened
Newport News Shipbuilding
Norfolk International Terminal
APM Terminal
Portsmouth Marine Terminal
Lambert Point Coal Terminal
Several Shipyards and Terminals
Tourism Industry is Threatened in Coastal Virginia
Eastern Shore
Barrier Islands
(Most of them
a nature preserve)
Fort Monroe
Chesapeake Bay Coast of Virginia Beach
and First Landing park
Downtown Portsmouth and Norfolk
Atlantic Coast of
Virginia Beach
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
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
Recommendations for the Federal Government
• 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
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
O’Malley ready for sea level rise

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