Adapting To Climate Change in Coastal Parks: Estimating the Exposure of Park Assets to 1 m of Sea-Level Rise

National Park Service

[USA Today]  Sea-level rise puts at high risk more than $40 billion in park infrastructure and historic and cultural resources, including almost $90 million in assets at the Canaveral National Seashore, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

The report by scientists from the National Park Service and Western Carolina University is based on a study of 40 parks…

Climate change is visible at national parks across the country, but this report underscores the economic importance of cutting carbon pollution and making public lands more resilient to its dangerous impacts,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior SecretarySally Jewell, said in a release. “Through sound science and collaboration, we will use this research to help protect some of America’s most iconic places — from the Statue of Liberty to Golden Gate and from the Redwoods to Cape Hatteras — that are at risk from climate change…”

Sea-level rise projects vary by place and time, but scientists expect a 1 meter rise in the next 100-150 years. In some areas of Alaska, however, relative sea-level is decreasing because as land-based glaciers and ice sheets melt, land is rising faster than sea levels, according to the report…

Many coastal parks already deal with threats from sea-level rise and from storms that damage roads, bridges, docks, water systems and parking lots,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “This infrastructure is essential to day-to-day park operations, but the historical and cultural resources such as lighthouses, fortifications and archaeological sites that visitors come to see are also at risk of damage or loss…”


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