CARA Hampton Roads

Eelgrass As part of the Consortium for Atlantic Regional Assessment (CARA) team, VIMS is facilitating the Hampton Roads case study. The local stakeholders' network helped identify sea-level rise (now averaging 0.174 inches/year), and wetlands loss as key concerns related to changes in climate and land use. Case study research is exploring how sea-level rise or land use changes might affect Hampton Roads' two major ecological restoration programs: the Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) program in the Chesapeake Bay and the Wetlands Restoration project along the Elizabeth River. Research also is examining how sea-level rise might affect local flooding and property values.

Multiple state agencies, including Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Department, Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), provide administrative and advisory services to help local communities implement effective management and conservation of coastal and estuarine resources. The CARA team is exploring how the uncertainty regarding sea-level rise and development can be dealt with in local decision-making, and how local decision-making can incorporate information about the impacts of changes in climate or land use.

See CARA studies link for more information on changes in potential flooding in the Hampton Roads area.