Water-Related News

Report: Sea level rise to have worst impacts along Gulf of Mexico, East Coast

TAMPA – A new government report out this week said the sea level will rise about a foot on average in the U.S. over the next 30 years, and it will be worse in the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its Sea Level Rise Scenarios report, detailing the amounts of sea level rise across the country.

"That report is really relevant for the entire United States, and sea level rise is actually experienced differently for different regions," said Maya Burke, the assistant director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. "The big takeaway was that there's that there's some nuance in terms of the timing of when we might expect to see sea level rise occur and in the quantities that have been projected."

She and other members of the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel, which helped author NOAA’s report, said Florida’s sea level rise will be worse, so they will dive into the report’s recommendations and consider how to apply them to Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay Estuary Program is working with several local governments on what to expect.

"So our guidance for the Tampa Bay region has been out to the year 2100, and we've said that local governments should plan for a little bit less than two feet of sea level rise to as much as eight feet of sea level rise by the end of this century," said Burke.