Rising Sea Level Rise, What’s at Stake for Hampton Roads

Cox Business Executive Discussion

Rising Sea Level Rise, What’s at Stake for Hampton Roads?

September 17, 2013

Bill Kavorik and I attended the Rising Sea Level – What’s at Stake for Hampton Roads discussion on September 17, 2013 in Virginia Beach.  It was a worthy discussion with several panelists that are experts in the field of sea level rise (in their own right).   The panelists kept their comments brief, as the majority of the event involved Q&A from the audience and participation from local leading experts that were in the audience.  Experts from the audience included Skip Stiles, Joe Bouchard, and Bryan Pennington.

The Discussion was comprised of moderator, Cathy Lewis, and a panel of the following five local experts:

Molly Mitchell, Marine Scientist Supervisor, Center for Coastal Resources Management, VIMS, is one of the leading scientists for coastal management in Virginia.  She has many presentations that encapsulate what is actually happening geologically regarding sea level rise and subsidence.

Michelle Hamor, Chief of the Flood Plain, Management of Services Section Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk, discussed her silver jacket affiliation, which designates her as a leading flood authority along with the USGS, FEMA, NWS, and DCR.  She described sea level rise in a holistic way throughout her discussion.

Ben McFarlane, Regional Planner, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, who discussed local affects and solutions that Hampton Roads is working on, to include more education for the public.

Steve Lawson, President of the Lawson Cos and Tidewater Builders Association, emphasized how this is not just a science issue anymore.  It is impacting businesses and economics heavily.  Steve spoke about installing flood vents in homes to eliminate standing water in homes after flooding.

Carlton Gill, Executive Vice President, Towne Insurance Agency, described how home owners should be negotiating with their home insurance and demanding better rates as flood insurance rates continue to increase.  We should all be aware of what our home insurance needs are based on where our home is located.


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