The Challenge of Mitigating Virginia's Flooding and Sea Level Rise Impacts

Flooding fixes- long waits, big bucks... and a lot of jobs

Wetlands Watch just released a study showing that flood mitigation and sea level rise adaptation needs are growing and people with damaged properties are stuck with unacceptable waits for help. In just five Hampton Roads Virginia cities, we found nearly $431,000,000 in pending costs to fix flood-damaged structures. At current payment rates for government assistance, these folks will wait between 78 and 188 years for help! And in that time, with sea level rise, many more structures will come onto these lists.

We also found there are ways to deal with this, using revolving loan funds at the state and regional level. Models for this exist in other areas in Virginia and we could start soon to pump money into these communities for flooding fixes. Connecticut just started a $25 million program for coastal flood mitigation.

And the private sector financing could flow as well, using models from energy efficiency mortgages and simple redevelopment loan programs.

Best of all - jobs will be created.That $431,000,000 in just five cities represents 9,200 jobs in construction, design, finance, and other areas.

So lets fix out flooding/sea level rise problems and create jobs - a no-brainer for the various study committees working on sea level rise in Virginia.