Preparing for Sea Level Rise in Delaware - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Preparing for Sea Level Rise in Delaware


LEWES, Del.-  The Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee is out to ensure residents in the state of Delaware are prepared to adapt to the rising water levels.

Mark Harris has been a Lewes resident for the last 10 years and lives less than a block away from the beach.  He has already seen some of the effect of the rising sea level.

"The water comes right up from the canal and gets fairly close to where the house is and yes, I am concerned that this part of Lewes is not going to sink in the next 50 years, but it's going to get considerably wetter," said Harris.

Doug Brown is also from Lewes and he believe that he is already prepared for any type of effect that the rising sea level could have in his community.

"Everybody does their thing to adapt to it and my house is about six feet up in the air so I don't see it to be a big deal, at least not in my life-time," said Brown.

But being able to adapt to these changes is something experts are working to ensure that everyone is prepared to do.  The Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee shared their work and their findings with the public Wednesday night at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes.  The committee said adapting to the rising water comes down to four potential actions.  First, avoid building homes in vulnerable areas.  Second, accommodate the changes the water brings by building homes higher.  Third, protect the land by building structures designed to keep the water away.  Or finally, you can retreat.

"There may be communities in this state that are unsustainable and thinking about whether that's an option now may make it easier in the long-run," said Susan Love, a planner in the Delaware Coastal Programs.

The advisory committee also is pushing for public comment on the issue and will take those comments until March 14.  There will also be two more public forums in Delaware after Wednesday's meeting.  At the New Castle School on Feb. 19 and at the Kent County Levy Court Complex on Feb. 25.


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