Rising Seas, Climate Change & the Viriginia Coast

As the U.N. talks about climate in Cancun, coastal Norfolk, VA, is already dealing with rising sea levels.

Norfolk, VA (Credit: Joey Sheely, Wikimedia Commons)

Norfolk, Virginia is one of the oldest cities in America. It’s a city on the water, at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

And if you live in Norfolk, what you see is the water rising. Norfolk’s land base is settling. The seas are getting higher.

The combination has put Norfolk out front in confronting what cities all over the world may face in a century of climate change: water in the streets; big decisions on what to save and where to retreat; and huge costs.

Climate change deniers hate the conversation, but in Norfolk, it’s reality time. We look at getting real about high water, and what’s to come.  

-Tom Ashbrook


Leslie Kaufman, national reporter covering the environment for the New York Times and author of the recent article “Front-Line City in Virginia Tackles Rise in Sea.”

William “Skip” Stiles, executive director of Wetlands Watch.

Theresa Whibley, Norfolk city councillor representing Ward 2, which contains some of the areas of Norfolk hardest hit by flooding.

Orrin Pilkey, professor emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University. He’s co-author of “The Rising Sea.”


Norfolk, VA (Google Maps)

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