The Hampton Roads area is experiencing the highest rates of sea-level rise along the U.S. East Coast. It is second only to New Orleans, Louisiana as the largest population center at risk from sea level rise in the country. And it is anticipated that Virginia will experience between 2.3 to 5.2 feet of sea level rise by the end of the century. This unprecedented challenge requires a comprehensive and effective planning response.

The mission of the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Pilot Project (“Pilot Project”) is to develop a regional whole of government and whole of community approach to sea level rise preparedness and resilience planning for the Hampton Roads community. This is a two-year project with the goal of establishing arrangements and procedures that can effectively coordinate the sea level rise preparedness and resilience planning of federal, state, and local government agencies, citizens groups, and the private sector. Ideally, this Pilot Project will generate a template for use by other regions of the United States also working with similar issues of sea level rise preparedness and this Legal Primer is an important part of this effort. It provides an overview of the myriad legal and policy concerns that the Pilot Project will face in developing practical and whole of government solutions.

This abstract has been taken from the authors' executive summary.

Document Type

State and Local Governments: Authority and Liability

Publication Date


Publication Information

Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Project