“Every day, billions of dollars of private property and public infrastructure are at risk from flooding,” Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) said Thursday morning at the boat launch at the end of LaValette Avenue in Norfolk.
Virginia has the highest rate of sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast, per the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, up more than 14 inches since 1930. In 2018 and 2019 alone, Virginia experienced nine major flooding events that led to about $1.6 billion in damage Northam’s office says.
“Whether you live in the seven cities of Hampton Roads or on a farm on the Eastern Shore, we are all feeling the impact,” Northam said.
While there are a lot of advantages of living by the shore, one of the disadvantages is that flooding is not only likely, it's downright inevitable in the long term.
The $500 million for the plan will come from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Virginia became part of RGGI this past summer, joining ten other Mid-Atlantic and New England states. Northam calls the plan a “innovative, science-based approach” with a focus on cost-effective and natural solutions.
“The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, but not the fact that our planet is warming, land is sinking, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are more frequent and more severe,” said Northam in a news release. “The science is clear: climate change is threatening our way of life, and there is no time to waste. We must act quickly and decisively — and the Coastal Master Planning Framework will be our roadmap to resilience in coastal Virginia. This innovative, science-based approach uses cost-effective, nature-based, and equitable strategies to protect our people, our communities, our infrastructure, and our economy right now and for generations to come.”
While sea level is rising, and faster in Virginia than in most other places due to natural, and man made subsidence, there's no evidence that sea level rise is accelerating due to anything other than the end of the last glaciation, let alone anthropomorphic climate change
These are the framework’s guiding principles:
According to state data in the past two years, Virginia homes and businesses sustained $1.6 billion worth of flood damage. Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler says business and home owners in coastal areas are beginning to wonder whether they’ll need to relocate.
- Acknowledge climate change and its consequences, and base decision-making on the best available science.
- Identify and address socioeconomic inequities and work to enhance equity through coastal adaptation and protection efforts.
- Recognize the importance of protecting and enhancing green infrastructure like natural coastal barriers and fish and wildlife habitat by prioritizing nature-based solutions.
- Utilize community and regional scale planning to the maximum extent possible, seeking region-specific approaches tailored to the needs of individual communities.
- Understand fiscal realities and focus on the most cost-effective solutions for protection and adaptation of our communities, businesses and critical infrastructure.
I hereby predict that the majority of the half billion gets distributed to liberal non-profits and academics who will look for ways to make the problem seem worse than it is, while not building a single sea wall, raising a building or providing help to a business being impacted.