Sea level rise will be one of the primary effects of global climate change in Delaware. Sea levels are rising today at a rate of about one inch every decade. As the Earth warms, sea levels will rise at a faster pace, resulting in tide levels that could be between 1.6 and 4.9 feet higher than they are today.
This could cause loss of low-lying land and structures, saltwater intrusion into drinking water and increased flooding during coastal storms. These impacts are a statewide issue: all three counties and 31 of the state’s 57 cities and towns will be directly impacted.
Chad Tolman of Delaware Interfaith Power and Light has served on Delaware’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee. The diverse group of stakeholders, facilitated by the Delaware Coastal Management Program, has published “Preparing for Tomorrow’s High Tide: Recommendations for Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Delaware.” The report represents three years of effort and marks the completion of the advisory committee’s work.