Wed, 04/25/2018 - 4:26pm

Sea Level Rise

If Hurricane Hazel Hit Today...

While the debate rages on about the cause of sea level rise and if human activity is speeding up the process, the phenomena itself is not a new coastal hazard. Scientists have plenty of evidence that ocean levels rise and fall several times over thousands of years. Scientists have pretty strong evidence the seas are rising again. What makes sea level change so significant now is that there are many more of us living near the coast. And, as the report by the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission's Science Panel says, “over time it exacerbates existing coastal hazards.”

Marsh Memories

As I stood in Middle Marsh, felt the warm breeze and watched the seabirds fly above me while the estuary waters swirled around my legs, I felt so at peace.

“This is so beautiful,” I said to Dr. Rodriguez, as he took measurements of the oyster reefs he studies.

“It is awesome,” Dr. Rodriguez agreed. “What’s really amazing, in addition to everything around us now, is how quickly the tide comes in. The water will be up to your waste in a couple hours.”

Reef Life

Researchers discover natural oyster reefs grow fast enough to keep up with the projected rise in sea levels, suggesting oyster reefs could be used for storm protection and erosion control, all the while doing what oyster reefs naturally do, which is filter the water and provide a habitat for fish.