Rising Seas & Sinking Land: How Coastal Virginia is Combating Climate Change

Credit Pamela D'Angelo

For the next few months Pamela D'Angelo is traveling around the Chesapeake Bay looking at how climate change is impacting neighborhoods and potential solutions being considered as lands continue to sink and flooding increases.


Scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have been gathering data on sea level rise from tide gauge stations around the United States, including one at the mouth of the James River in Norfolk.

For three years they've issued a so-called sea level rise report card.  Recently released 2019 data confirms sea levels are rising faster than first thought.

Pamela D'Angelo

For seven years, the Virginia Coastal Policy Center has been bringing together experts from around the country to help Virginia plan coastal adaptation and protection from rising waters due to climate change.

The biggest challenge so far is how to pay for it.

Pamela D'Angelo

Rollbacks in environmental protection and flood risk management by the Trump administration is forcing states to come up with their own solutions. On Friday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam mandated one of the country's strictest standards for state-owned properties in an effort to steer development away from flood-prone areas.

Saxis Looks for Solutions to Rising Seas

Nov 8, 2019
Pamela D'Angelo

The tiny Town of Saxis on Virginia's Eastern Shore is learning to live with water.

Like other communities around the Chesapeake Bay, residents are looking at solutions to the erosion and frequent flooding that comes with climate change.

Pamela D'Angelo

You’ve probably heard of Tangier— the island of 450 residents in danger of being swallowed by the Chesapeake Bay.

But just a few miles away, the tiny Town of Saxis, whose population is about half of Tangier's, is quietly facing many of the same problems.