Preparing for Tomorrow’s High Tide: Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Delaware was developed by the DNREC Delaware Coastal Programs with input, advice and guidance from members of Delaware’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee. It was formally approved by the Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee in May, 2012.
It contains background information about sea level rise, methods used to determine vulnerability and a comprehensive accounting of the extent and impacts that sea level rise will have on 79 resources in the state. The information contained within this document and its appendixes will be used by the Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee and other stakeholders to guide development of sea level rise adaptation strategies.
What is it?
Vulnerability assessments are conducted as a way to understand the effects of a hazardous event, whether the event is an attack by a computer hacker, a tornado or in this case – sea level rise. Vulnerability assessments identify locations and extent of impacts and often prioritize the importance of these impacts. This process can then lead to changes that may limit the negative effects should the event occur.
This Vulnerability Assessment provides in-depth information about sea level rise and its potential impacts to Delaware in a 2-volume document, an Assessment and a Mapping Appendix. These documents contain background information about sea level rise, vulnerability assessment methods and a comprehensive accounting of the potential extent and impacts that sea level rise could have to 79 resources within the state. The information within this document will be used by the Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee and other stakeholders to guide development of sea level rise adaptation strategies.
Statewide, between 8% and 11% of the state’s land area could be inundated by sea level rise by the year 2100. Inundation from sea level rise will occur in all three of Delaware’s counties, affecting a range of resources. Although the direct impacts from sea level rise will be felt primarily in areas near tidal waters, every Delawarean is likely to be affected whether through increased costs of maintaining public infrastructure, decreased tax base, loss of recreational opportunities or loss of community character.
Users of this document should carefully read the introductory materials and methods to understand the assumptions and trade-offs that have been made in order to describe and depict vulnerability information at a statewide scale.
For more information or to obtain a hard copy of this report, please contact the Delaware Coastal Programs Office at (302) 739-9283.