Visualizing the Impacts of Sea Level Rise

With sea levels expected to rise and exacerbate existing flooding problems, government officials felt the need to assess and address community vulnerability.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control looked at flooding extent and impact at Bowers Beach, creating a digital elevation model to visualize impacts for varying sea level rise increases. Tools used include the Sea Level Rise Viewer from NOAA’s Digital Coast and the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model, or SLAMM.

The resulting maps have proven useful for forming a department-wide sea level rise adaptation policy that impacts land use planning and zoning. These data have also been helpful for economic and ecological impact assessments. (2016)

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Partners: Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, University of Delaware, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays