Concerned about rising seas? Va. Beach forum plans to discuss issue

Shore Drive in Virginia Beach is flooded near the entrance to First Landing State Park on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, following Hurricane Matthew. (Photo: WAVY/Bill Cole)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Residents of Virginia Beach will soon be able to ask questions and share their thoughts on the issue of sea-level rise at several upcoming public forums.

“Sea level is expected to continue increasing in the future, and at a high rate,” said Phillip Davenport, the city’s director of public works in a release. “The City of Virginia Beach recognizes these challenges and has taken a proactive stance to ensure a vibrant future.”

The meetings will take place over the next 12-18 weeks, and feature Michelle Covi,  an ocean, Earth and atmospheric sciences professor at Old Dominion University.

Covi and her research team want to learn about the public’s attitude towards certain sea level adaption strategies, and use that data to help develop the city’s long-term strategy.

That 5-year plan, named the Comprehensive Sea Level Rise and Recurrent Flooding Analysis and Planning Study, was started in 2015 to provide a blueprint for flood resiliency. The plan features a three-phase approach: to assess current problems, find ways to reduce risk and increase resiliency.

Davenport says each meeting will focus on particular watersheds in the area, such as the Lynnhaven and Elizabeth rivers, and the city’s 31 drainage basins. All seven meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m.

Proposed dates:

Monday, Dec. 4

Drainage areas: 2, 17-22

Location Kempsville High


Monday, Dec. 11

Drainage areas: 8,29, 30

Location: Cooke Elementary


Wednesday, Dec. 13

Drainage areas: 5,6, 7

Location: Cox High School


Wednesday: January 17

Drainage areas: 12, 13, 14 and 15

Location: Landstown High School


Monday, January 22

Drainage areas: 9, 10, 11, 16, 23-28

Location: Kellam High School


Thursday, January 25

Drainage areas: 3 and 4

Location: Princess Anne High School


Monday, January 29

Drainage areas: 1 and 31

Location Bayside High School