Outer Banks and NC coast struggle with rising sea levels

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The Outer Banks are one of the most iconic landmarks in North Carolina, yet their future could be in danger. Rising sea levels and increasing hurricane intensity are shifting the sand and eroding the Banks away, and recent projections only have the problem getting worse.

Duck, according to the Science Panel report, could experience the highest sea-level rise on the North Carolina coast – as much as 11 inches over the next 30 years. A previous report that looked out over the next century was even more ominous: more than three feet of rise.

“Sea level’s rising – and we have half of some of our counties at one foot above sea level,” says Stan Riggs, a geology professor at East Carolina University and a member of the Science Panel that wrote both sea-level reports. “And the shorelines are receding because of these storms. And people are building dikes and highways are going underwater. I mean, that’s serious. It’s right now.”

From North Carolina Public Radio



  1. Mike's avatar
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    Isn't our ever-helpful legislature still prohibiting the use of any climate change models, aka, rising oceans, from being used for any long-term coastal planning?
  2. Bill's avatar
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    Of course not, Mike, they're not scientists!
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