Virginia Coastal Policy Center


Sea level rise, recurrent flooding, and increasingly severe storms are ever-present threats to coastal Virginia. As climate change becomes the “new normal”, creative solutions are needed to adapt to these stark realities.

In response to these climate-related challenges, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 24, “Increasing Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards,” on November 2, 2018. The Executive Order designated the Secretary of Natural Resources as the Chief Resilience Officer of the Commonwealth, and set forth various actions intended to increase statewide resilience to natural hazards and extreme weather. Later that same month, Portsmouth released its 2018 comprehensive plan, Build One Portsmouth, which also takes resiliency issues into account and attempts to increase the City’s preparedness moving forward.

Considering these recent developments, it is important for Portsmouth to establish the boundaries of its authority as the City plans for the future. This memorandum attempts to answer some of the City’s most pressing questions in its efforts to become more resilient.

This abstract has been taken from the authors' introduction.

Document Type

Sea Level Rise and Recurrent Flooding

Publication Date

Spring 2019