Much of Virginia Fighting Not Only Runoff and Erosion, But Also Rising Seas

Delmarva Shoreline ErosionShorelines, marshes, and wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay are in jeopardy – not just from erosion and water quality issues – but also from both rising sea levels and sinking lands.  Scientists have projected that “if current trends hold, Virginia’s waters could go up an additional 1.5 feet by about 2050 and 5 feet or more by 2100.”

Bay marshes and beaches have coped with aerosion and sea-level rise by migrating inland. Faced with a more rapid rate of sea level rise, these marshes and beaches can’t keep pace and risk becoming mud flats or open water.

“At a foot per century, obviously, they were able to keep up,” said Carl Hershner, a Virginia Institute of Marine Science wetlands expert, “But at 2 feet per century, it’s looking like they are not.”

Learn more about the struggle that Dameron Marsh and other coastal areas are fighting to preserve historic shorelines.