EASTON — The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, (ESLC) released a new study to assist local governments’ plans for the impacts of sea level rise, a news release states.
The study, “Mainstreaming Sea Level Rise Preparedness in Local Planning and Policy on Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” is centered on sea level rise projections for the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in 2050 and 2100.
In a screening of the film ‘High Tide in Dorchester’ last year, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory Professor Ming Li said by 2100 more than half of Dorchester County likely will be underwater.
An animation featured in the film showed Hoopers Island underwater by about 2030. Crapo, Toddville, Bishops Head, much of Taylor’s Island and huge parts of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge are shown to be flooded by 2060, and waters beginning to creep up on Church Creek and Vienna.
“Global warming and sea level rise is caused by human activities,” Li said March 9, 2018. “Because it’s a global a problem, it’s easy to say you can’t do anything, but I think by working together we can tackle this big problem.”
As one of the country’s most vulnerable landscapes to flooding, erosion and sea level rise, the ESLC believes the Eastern Shore can become a national model for coastal resilience in rural communities.
A resilient Eastern Shore will be prepared for immediate and long-term coastal hazards and able to survive, adapt, and prosper in the face of uncertainty and vulnerability, the release states.
The sea level rise report was written on behalf of the Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Partnership (ESCAP), a regional workgroup of local government staff, partners from state, academic institutions and nonprofits.
The ESCAP assists communities in reducing climate vulnerabilities and risks, collects and shares information among communities and decision makers and educates members, residents and elected leaders on risks and adaptation strategies.
The organization also serves to raise the visibility and voice of the Eastern Shore and rural regions in conversations about adaptation and resilience.
“This report is important for communities here on the Eastern Shore,” Jim Bass, ESLC’s coastal resilience specialist said. “It describes hazards we need to adapt to, and it gives us a framework to plan for that adaptation.”