On the Rise: Sea Levels, Interest, and Risk

  • Colonel Jason E. Kelly

Despite scientific data, tough talk from the White House and development of viable adaptation measures, efforts to increase coastal community resiliency remain stalled. This study investigates sea level changes in a strategically important coastal community and the impact of these changes on U.S. national interests. For many reasons, the country is developing a keen interest in adaptation and resiliency. Norfolk, Virginia is the second-most vulnerable city to sea level rise in the U.S. behind New Orleans. The risks posed to military facilities in this vibrant coastal community demand a response to climate consequences that are already affecting the area. This paper explores the science of rising seas, the significance of American ports, the strategic importance of Norfolk, and the potential role the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could play in adaptation and resiliency.