W&M > VIMS > CCRM > Research > Nearshore Ecology

Climate Change - Lower James River Polyhaline (JMSPH)

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CURRENT COASTAL HABITAT COMPOSITION

0.8 km² - Tidal Marsh
1.5 km² - Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
9.8 km² - Shallow Water
4.4 km  - Beaches

The Lower James River (polyhaline) segment includes the mouth of the river and is located in the Cities of Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampton. Of the shoreline surveyed, riparian lands are highly developed (75%, mostly commercial) and the shoreline extremely altered (52% armored, excluding military wharfs). Inventories have not been completed for Hampton. These four cities have high average annual rates of permitted shoreline hardening ranging on average from 0.2-1.1 km/yr hardened (0.1 to 0.4% of the shoreline).


COASTAL HABITATS SHIFTS WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
  • Shallow-Water and Tidal Wetlands - depiction of existing tidal wetland (vegetated & non-vegetated) and shallow-water habitat, with projected shifts due to sea level rise

  • Tidal Marsh Vulnerability - depiction of existing tidal marsh and vulnerability to inundation from projected sea level rise within 50-100 years. Marshes classified at low risk represent potential wetland preservation opportunities

  • Estuarine Beach Vulnerability - depiction of existing estuarine beach and vulnerability to inundation from projected sea level rise within 50-100 years. Beaches classified at low risk represent potential habitat preservation opportunities

  • Submerged Aquatic Vegetation - depiction of existing submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and projected shifts due to sea level rise and elevated temperatures

  • Vulnerable Developed Lands - depiction of existing developed lands and vulnerability to inundation from projected sea level rise

Link to map information and data sources