University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

Public invited to attend engagement sessions on sea-level rise

Delaware residents are invited to attend public engagement sessions on sea level rise and the potential impacts to Delaware. Five sessions are scheduled at locations throughout the state – Nov. 9 in Middletown; Nov. 15 in Georgetown; Nov. 17 in New Castle; Nov. 21 in Dover; and Nov. 29 in Lewes. At each session, the work of the Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee will be presented.

DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara formed the Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee to assess the risks posed by sea level rise and to develop recommendations for state and local governments, businesses and citizens. “Recent events have demonstrated Delaware’s vulnerability to increased flooding, more intense storms, greater precipitation, and sea level rise,” said Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara. “The rigorous work of the Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee will provide a strong foundation for developing science-based policy recommendations as we work with local communities to prepare for emerging challenges.”

“During the past year, the Committee has discovered that impacts from sea level rise are not limited to beachfront communities, but will affect areas throughout the state,” said Sarah Cooksey, Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee Co-chair and Administrator of DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs. “Our preliminary results will be discussed at each engagement session, and we encourage Delaware residents to join us and provide feedback.”

The following engagement sessions will be held:

4 – 7 p.m., Wednesday, November 9
Middletown High School Auditorium
120 Silver Lake Road
Middletown, DE 19709

4 – 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15
Georgetown Public Library
2nd floor meeting room
123 West Pine Street
Georgetown, DE 19947

4 – 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17
William Penn High School
Cafeteria 2
713 East Basin Road
New Castle, DE 19720

4 – 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 21
Kent County Levy Court Complex
Room 221
555 Bay Road (Rt. 113)
Dover, DE 19901

4- 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29
Cape Henlopen High School
1270 Kings Highway
Lewes, DE 19958

At the public engagement sessions, residents will learn more about the causes of sea level rise and potential impacts to homes, infrastructure, natural resources and the economy. Participants can speak with committee members and scientists, view maps of vulnerable areas and provide comments on the ways sea level rise may affect them, their businesses and communities. Public input is essential for the Advisory Committee to understand the range of residents’ priorities and concerns. Comments from each session will be incorporated in their future reports.

Delaware’s gently sloping coastal plain makes our state more vulnerable than other areas to sea level rise. Tide gauges in the state show that sea levels in Delaware are rising at a rate of about 13 inches over a time span of 100 years – a rate that is expected to accelerate in the coming decades.

For more information on sea level rise engagement sessions, or to view workshop materials online visit the Delaware Advisory Committee’s public engagement session webpage.