Rising sea level causing changes

Published 11:21 am Saturday, July 19, 2008

By Staff
Albemarle-Pamlico region must adapt
Newsroom Manager
As the waters rise in the Albemarle-Pamlico region, people in the area are seeing lifestyle changes — both in the short term and in the long term.
She was a member of an audience of about 25 people at the N.C. Estuarium on Thursday night that was there to offer its input about sea-level rise and population growth.
Smith said the rising waters factor into the loss of land and the loss of ways of life for families that have lived in the Albemarle-Pamlico area for generations.
The economy in the area could be adversely affected by sea-level rise with loss of jobs, she said.
However, one part of the current situation the Albemarle-Pamlico region is experiencing — the influx of retirees and baby boomers to live in the coastal areas of eastern North Carolina — is helping the economy, she said.
So, the tradeoffs that exist between population increase and sea-level rise in the Albemarle-Pamlico region certainly have long-range issues that are positive and negative, she said.
Lucy Henry of Raleigh, another facilitator at the forum, who represents the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program, said watershed issues and climate change are part of the equation involving sea level rise and population growth in the area.
Brown and Henry led discussion about sea level rise and population growth in the Albemarle-Pamlico region among audience members and gathered several concerns from the crowd, including the effects that the two factors might have on commerce, waterfront construction, flooding issues, impervious surface issues, farmland loss, shoreline loss and sewer system impacts.
Another community forum on sea level rise and population growth in the Albemarle-Pamlico region similar to Thursday’s event in Washington will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Hyde Davis Business Enterprise Center on U.S. Highway 264 in Engelhard. It is hosted by the same two groups, the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program and the Albemarle-Pamlico Conservation and Communities Collaborative. All interested people are welcome. Food and beverages are provided. For more information, contact Lucy Henry at (919) 715-4074 or at e-mail lucy.henry@ncmail.net, or Sharon Campbell at (919) 274-6845 or at e-mail campbellsharon@bellsouth.net.