Norfolk Neighborhood Breaks Ground on Sea Level Rise Diversion Project

When confronted by sea level rise flooding, neighborhoods have a choice: Try to hold the waters back, move out of the area, or divert the water into areas designed to accommodate floodwaters.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander and community leaders recently broke ground on a project that takes the last approach to cope with sea level rise flooding. Resilience Park, part of the Ohio Creek Watershed Project, will create a green space to store and absorb floodwater. The project also includes a coastal flood berm, restored tidal creek wetland, and sports and recreational facilities.

A major plus to residents is that that project also includes a walking path that will connect two predominantly African American neighborhoods. “The Ohio Creek Watershed Project is an example of the kind of work we need to do to protect lives, property, and economic opportunity in Hampton roads, and the innovation that will help us build a safer, more sustainable, and resilient Virginia for future generations,” Gov. Northam said.

Virginia is using $112 million of a $120 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to fund the project.

Norfolk, VA, Group Hosts Contests to Develop Sea Level Rise Mitigation Programs

As cities and towns along the U.S. coastline scramble to address sea level rise flooding, a non-profit, economic development group in Norfolk, VA, is hosting contests to encourage the private sector to develop ideas.

Norfolk is experiencing some of the fastest sea level rise in the country, and it’s desperate for solutions. The city is using a share of a $120 million grant the State of Virginia received from the federal government to improve its resiliency to flooding.

Among the programs the city supports is an economic incubator called RISE, which is giving seed money to six small businesses that won a contest by submitting innovative proposals to address sea level rise and climate change. The ideas include teaching local business contractors how to elevate houses and establishing oyster reefs to protect the shoreline from storm surge.

This year’s RISE Coastal Community Resilience Challenge includes an invitation for company’s to submit proposals to develop an app that will give drivers real-time flooding information. The group is also looking for proposals to deal with stormwater in parking lots, detect sudden intense rainstorms, and beach sand replenishment.

For more information visit RiseResilience.org.

Sea Level Rise Flooding Victims in Norfolk, Virginia, Develop a King Tide App

Tired of sitting idle while sea level rise flooding inundated their neighborhood, an enterprising group of citizens in Norfolk, Virginia, decided to band together and develop a King Tide app. Dave Mayfield, a former environmental reporter, told CBS he was depressed from all the bad climate change news so he came up with the idea for the “Catch the King” app. Now hundreds of residents are measuring the timing and extent of king tide and sea level rise-driven flooding that emerges out of Callie Bay. Their data will help mappers to improve the accuracy of their tide and flooding forecasts.

The CBS report by Brooke Silva-Braga includes a quote from a new resident who didn’t know about the regular flooding of his yard until after he bought the property. He said it cost him $90,000 to raise his property. That, my friends, is why I wrote “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions.” The book tells folks buying in coastal areas — as well as sellers, owners, and real estate agents — what they need to know about sea level rise flooding BEFORE they decide how to proceed in a real estate transaction. Virginia, incidentally, is one of the states with the laxest seller disclosure requirement laws, which is also discussed at length in the book.

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