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Recommendations for Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Delaware


Sea level rise will be one of the primary effects of global climate change in Delaware. Sea levels are rising today at a rate of about one inch every decade. As the Earth warms, sea levels will rise at a faster pace, resulting in tide levels that could be between 1.6 and 4.9 feet higher than they are today. This could cause loss of low-lying land and structures, saltwater intrusion into drinking water and increased flooding during coastal storms. Click to download Adaptation DocumentThese impacts are a statewide issue: all three counties and 31 of the state’s 57 cities and towns will be directly impacted.

In recognition of the serious consequences of sea level rise, Delaware’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee investigated the state’s vulnerability to sea level rise and provided recommendations about how to best prepare for higher sea levels.

The publication of “Preparing for Tomorrow’s High Tide: Recommendations for Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Delaware” represents three years of effort and marks the completion of the advisory committee’s work. The central component of this document is a list and description of recommendations for adapting to sea level rise in Delaware. These recommendations focus on building the necessary capacity for Delaware agencies, local governments, businesses and individuals to plan for and put into place strategies for responding to sea level rise.  

Downloading “Preparing for Tomorrow’s High Tide: Recommendations for Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Delaware”

  • Click on adjacent image of the report's cover page to download the recommendations.
  • To download just the Executive Summary, click here
  •  To download the entire text of Public Comments click here

Adaptation to Sea Level Rise

 Adaptation means “adjusting” to new conditions and taking steps to moderate and cope with the effects of sea level rise. These steps can be planned and implemented at a variety of geographic levels, and by a variety of stakeholders. These steps will include on-the-ground actions that can be taken to prepare for sea level rise in a particular location like raising structures out of flood prone areas, building dikes to keep water out of low-lying areas and avoiding placement of new structures in vulnerable areas. These steps will also include building our ability to select and implement the most appropriate adaptation measures. 

Recommendations for Adapting to Sea Level Rise

Delaware’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee was charged with developing recommendations for adapting the state to the likely impacts of sea level rise.  Because sea level rise adaptation will occur at many different geographic levels—from an individual home to a regional transportation network—the Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee focused its efforts on researching and developing recommendations that will build the state’s capacity to adapt, rather than pinpointing adaptation measures that should be used in specific locations.   

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

2014 Sea Level Rise Workshop and Interim Implementation Plan

Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Delaware



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