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.

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