William & Mary’s Virginia Coastal Policy Center, along with other stakeholders across the state, recently published a study that describes the economic costs of sea level rise to the Hampton Roads area if no further actions to mitigate sea level rise are taken. The study finds that increases in sea level in accordance with climate modeling from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) could result in over $100 million in economic damages annually. The current annual average flood damage costs in the Hampton Roads area amount to only $12 million annually, which means that sea level rise and climate change would dramatically change the economic reality of living near coastal Virginia.
The Cost of Doing Nothing study accounts for increased flood damage to both commercial and residential properties. The study did not estimate the cost of sea level rise to military installations in the area. Additionally, the changing climate will likely enhance the strength of major storms in the area. Using climate models produced by VIMS, the study predicts that the cost of the incidence of a 100-year storm could increase $611 million in damages to over $2 billion.
For more information, please see a the full text of the study at: Cost of Doing Nothing: Economic Consequences of Not Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Hampton Roads Region