Study predicts beach communities near Wilmington possibly unlivable by 2100

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Unlivable.

That’s what a new study released by the Union of Concerned Scientists said about Wilmington’s surrounding beaches by the year 2100. The study found that flooding due to rising sea levels could become chronic in our area by 2100.

Wilmington’s nearby beaches are just some of the 490 communities on the East and Gulf Coasts that are predicted to experience chronic flooding by 2100.

news-app-download-apple-350x50news-app-download-android-350x50

According to Mike Giles, a coastal advocate with North Carolina Coastal Federation, citizens and the government need to start making changes now to turn back climate change’s effects.

“We’re going to have to start thinking long range and adapting to the changes that are coming,” he said.

Wrightsville Beach has started making changes.

According to Town Manager Tim Owens, the town invests heavily in maintaining infrastructure and in beach nourishment. Although he said they do pour money into issues related to sea level rise, it’s not the town’s number one issue.

“We’re concerned about it. We don’t think about it daily, but it’s on our long-term planning,” Owens said.

Giles said he thinks everyone needs to start adapting to changes on the local and federal levels. Flooding and sea level rise isn’t a small problem, he said.

“It’s not just an inconvenience. It’s going to be a health hazard. It’s going to be a cost,” Giles said. “It’s going to be a job eater, if we adapt correctly, or a job killer, if we just sit here like an ostrich in the water.

“Some people say it’s a hoax. It’s not a hoax. Sea level rise is happening.”

If we don’t start making changes, like investing more in infrastructure and prohibiting people from building on land that floods easily, Wilmington’s coastal community will end up like the study’s prediction, he said.

“The coast is the economic engine of North Carolina,” Giles said. “Billions of dollars are created through tourism. People make their living at the beach, on the waters, in the waters, by fishing and oystering. As these areas are changed by rising sea levels, and flooding, those whole ecosystems are changing.”

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s