How Rising Sea Levels Place the Coast at Risk
March 8, 2017 § Leave a comment
With over four decades of experience in archaeology and anthropology, R. Christopher Goodwin, PhD, is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates Inc. Working on an array of projects relating to the protection of important cultural sites on the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States, Dr. Goodwin raises awareness of the issues caused or exacerbated by rising sea levels, including:
– Storm surges: Rising sea levels intensify storm surges, so coastal communities experience water encroachment and flooding further inland. This can cause damage to historic properties and important infrastructure.
– Erosion: Higher water levels erode the coastline, damaging the environment and tourist economies of these regions. Erosion is a leading cause of loss of coastal archaeological sites.
– Submersion: Low-lying coastal regions are vulnerable to permanent submersion. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a two-foot rise in sea levels could lead to over $1 trillion of damage to coastal areas. many coastal archaeological sites along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are actively being submerged today, especially where subsidence is occurring alongside rising mean low water stand levels.