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centimeters (12-16 inches) given a mid-level rise in waters.
Climate change is likely to bringstronger hurricanes
to Virginia’scoast, potentially aecting hal theCommonwealth.
An increase in suchevents—
today, there are twice asmany Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide as there were roughly 35 years ago
—will cost the state animmense amount o money. In 2004,Hurricane Gaston, a Category 1 hurri-cane originating over the Carolinasas a tropical storm, cost Virginia $60million.
Hurricane Isabel, the mostdamaging hurricane o the last 50years, cost the state $925 million.
Te threat posed by storm surgesand fooding along the 3,315 miles o Virginian tidal shoreline will likely intensiy.
Popular tourist destina-tions and residential areas—VirginiaBeach, Newport News, and Matthewsto name a ew—are projected to besignicantly impacted.
Te Environ-mental Protection Agency estimates Virginia’s beach sand replenish-ment costs at $200 million to $1.2billion under a 20-inch rise scenarioby the end o the century
Tiscould be highly detrimental to theVirginian economy. In 2008, VirginiaBeach brought in $1.2 billion (6%o Virginia’s total domestic travelers’expenditures), supporting 11,900 jobsin tourist-related industries and $209.4million in aggregate income—as wellas $48.7 million or the state andnearly $47.2 million in local govern-ment revenue.
Coastal real estate is also threatened.Mid-Atlantic insurance companieshave realized the potential or seriouslosses.
As o June 2009, 55% o themid-Atlantic insurance market reused to insure businesses and primary residences in the coastalregion
Many industry membersbelieve it will soon become too costly to cover many o these potentially high-risk properties. Some havebegun to reuse coverage or vacationhomes.
One-th o the population,1.5 million people, lives along Virgin-ia’s coast.
Given coastal Virginia’s economicdependence on U.S. military bases,climate change poses an even greaterthreat. Norolk, home to the world’slargest navy base, is a low-lying city situated on the banks o the Chesa-peake Bay.
Rising sea levels, whichhave increased by over a oot since1930,
have already begun to aectU.S. Navy operations. Floodingcaused by storms and abnormally high tides have covered power lines,caused electricity outages on the base,and halted services to ships. Multi-million dollar adaptation projects arealready underway,
but a changingclimate threatens to interrupt navalreadiness.
Encroaching waters alsothreaten nearby Langley Air ForceBase.
Hampton Roads is home tothe base, and hal o its economy istied to deense spending.
Looking to make cuts, the ederalgovernment could choose to closebases particularly threatened by climate change.
In Norolk, therelocation o one aircrat carriergroup to Florida or the Pacic wouldcost the local economy $900 millionannually.
A Sportsman’s Nightmare
A point o pride to the Common- wealth, the
commercial and thesaltwater sport shing industriesgenerate $130 million and $1.2billion, respectively, each year
.Climate change, however, is likely to signicantly harm the ecosystemso the Chesapeake Bay—and theeconomic benets it provides the state,not to mention the livelihood o smallrural communities.
Warming andrising waters jeopardize the oystersheries
and the hard shell clamindustry as well. I sea levels continueto increase, the roughly $50 millionhard shell clam industry may bepermanently destroyed.
The threat posed by storm surgesand ooding along the 3,315miles o Virginian tidal shorelinewill likely intensiy. Popular touristdestinations and residential areas—Virginia Beach, Newport News,and Matthews to name a ew—are projected to be signicantlyimpacted.
Te hunting, shing, and wildlieviewing industries are also likely tosuer. Warmer waters in the Appala-chian region could cause trout levelsto all by as much as 61%.
Withinthe next 30-80 years, ShenandoahPark’s red spruce could lose ground tosouthern pine orests. Likely to suer
Source: Bureau o Economic Analysis
Percent of VirginiaLabor Force Projectedto be Directly Affected