The sea level around Hampton Roads is 14 inches higher than it was in 1950.1 This increase is mostly due to Virginia’s sinking land, and it’s causing major issues. Hampton roads is second only to New Orleans as the largest population center at risk from sea level rise in the country.2 These assets include important military bases, like Naval Station Norfolk. There are already over 45,000 properties at risk from tidal flooding in Virginia.3 The state is planning over $4 billion in sea level rise solutions, which include stormwater and sewage system protection projects.
Sea level rise is speeding up
Although the sea has only risen by 14 inches since 1950, its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years and it’s now rising by one inch every 4 years.1 We know this because the sea level is measured every 6 minutes.4 Scientists use different equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.
SEA LEVEL MEASUREMENT FROM SEWELL’S POINT AREA TIDE GAUGE SINCE 1950