Future Sea Level Rise and the New Jersey Coast: Assessing Potential Impacts and Opportunities

Increasing rates of sea level rise caused by global warming are expected to lead to permanent inundation, episodic flooding, beach erosion and saline intrusion in low-lying coastal areas. Sea level rise is a significant and growing threat to the coastal region of New Jersey, USA and this study presents a comprehensive assessment of the expected impacts. We project future sea level rise based on historical measurements and global scenarios, and apply them to digital elevation models to illustrate the extent to which the New Jersey coast is vulnerable. We estimate that 1 to 3 % of New Jersey’s land area will be affected by inundation and 6.5 to over 9 % by episodic coastal flooding over the next century. We also characterize potential impacts on the socioeconomic and natural systems of the New Jersey coast focusing on Cape May Point for illustrative purposes. We then suggest a range of potential adaptation and mitigation opportunities for managing coastal areas in response to sea level rise. Our findings suggest that where possible a gradual withdrawal of development from some areas of the New Jersey coast may be the optimum management strategy for protecting natural ecosystems.

Identifying and Reducing Climate Risks to Water Resources in an Eastern Virginia Water Utility

Location

VA
United States
37° 5' 54.8088" N, 76° 29' 2.652" W
Virginia US
Summary: 

Newport News Waterworks is a water provider for several cities and counties in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain of Eastern Virginia near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Climate change is projected to cause issues for local water supply and quality. The utility has worked on a number of impacts studies, capital improvement projects, and water conservation outreach efforts to help improve its activities in light of a changing climate.

Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative: Collaborative Land Protection to Maintain Water Quality

Location

Raleigh , NC
United States
35° 46' 46.524" N, 78° 38' 17.4444" W
North Carolina US
Summary: 

The Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative (UNCWI) is a collaborative effort between regional land trusts, nonprofit entities, and several local municipalities and counties to protect drinking water supplies and quality in the Upper Neuse River Basin through land acquisition and/or conservation easements. A collaboratively developed Conservation Plan guides land acquisition by prioritizing land parcels according to their importance to water quality and their ability to provide other conservation benefits for the basin.