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Sea Level Rise Adaptation


Sea level rise affects more than beaches and oceanfront land owners. Sea level rise can increase the height of storm waves, making more areas vulnerable to storm damage. Sea level rise can inundate and flood low lying areas, causing losses to tidal wetlands, habitat, and agricultural areas. Sea level rise also can cause higher water tables and salt water intrusion, interfering with septic systems, drinking water and irrigation water. 

To address these issues, a Statewide Adaptation Plan for Sea Level Rise will be developed. The adaptation plan, when complete, will recommend policy changes and practices that will ensure that Delaware makes informed policy and investment decisions today to prevent damage and losses to infrastructure, resources and homes tomorrow. 

The plan will be developed with a team of stakeholders from a diverse network of interests including municipal governments, highway planners, landowners, emergency managers, wildlife managers, agricultural professionals, insurance agents, and tourism officials.

 The Adaptation Plan will include the following phases:

  •  An issues characterization phase, during which, teams of experts will research and document environmental, economic and social resources at risk from the effects of sea level rise
  •  A strategy development phase, during which, teams of experts will recommend ways to address the issues and minimize loss of resources
  •  An implementation phase, during which, recommendations will be incorporated into policies and programs at all levels of government and where additional research will occur.

Sea Level Rise Initiative

Communication, Training and Public Involvement

Preparing for Tomorrow's High Tide:  an Adaptation Strategy for Delaware

A kick-off workshop held March 12, 2009 brought together a wide range of stakeholders to learn about the potential impacts of sea level rise, and to discuss and document issues of particular importance to them. Working groups to investigate technical issues and a steering committee were to be formed after the workshop. This steering committee became the Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee. The Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee worked for 2 years to make recommendations on what Delaware can do to adapt to rising sea levels. Their first step was an inventory of the potential effects of sea level rise on the State. Now their work has moved forward with the publication of an implementation plan.

Documents in the Preparing for Tomorrow’s High Tide Series:

2014 Sea Level Rise Workshop and Adaptation Implementation Plan

Recommendations for Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Delaware

Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Delaware

Sea Level Rise March 2009 Workshop Summary Document - Full Document

Sea Level Rise Adapatation Planning

Sea Level Rise Research & Monitoring

Coastal Flooding and Inundation

Regional Studies

Additional Resources

For more information, please contact:

Delaware Coastal Programs
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 739-9283


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