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VCPC Discusses Sea Level Rise Preparedness in Hampton Roads

sea level rise preparedness

Jeremy Forrest. ©VCPC

Tess Mackey, Virginia Sea Grant Correspondent

sea level rise preparedness

Jeremy Forrest. ©VCPC

As a student in the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic, Jeremy Forrest will work with a representative from Old Dominion University and officers from Norfolk Naval Base to create a framing document for a “whole of government” pilot project. The project will create an organization that brings together various government agencies and private and public interests to discuss sea level rise preparedness and resilience planning in the Hampton Roads area.

“It’s interesting because it’s a brand-new project that has not been done before,” says Forrest. He will give legal advice on organizational structure and assist in creating substantive short-term goals for the new organization.

Addressing these issues is important in Norfolk, an area that is highly affected by sea level rise and recurrent flooding, second only to New Orleans, LA, in the United States. Additionally, the majority of Norfolk’s economy is directly related to the water, as it is the fastest and second largest seaport in the country with the largest shipbuilding industry.

“I can see how the work I’m doing will affect future planning in the region,” says Forrest, “especially in an area so dependent on the water.”

Forrest is a third-year law student at the College of William & Mary. Originally from Newport News, VA, he completed his undergraduate education at Hampden-Sydney College where he double-majored in English and history.