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Futurist Friday: Sea-Level Report Cards

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) launched a project to create “report cards” projecting sea-level rise in 32 US localities through the year 2050. They plan to update the report cards every year in January. Because the reports are tailored to local conditions, VIMS hopes this will be a more useful tool for planning than the global projections distributed by NOAA. 

The VIMS report cards use data from NASA research that tracks the acceleration of sea-level rise, due to the melting of polar ice. Taking acceleration into account makes a big difference in the projections. As Greenwire points out, “using NOAA’s linear sea-level predictions, Norfolk, Va., would see an 11.42-inch rise by 2050. Alternatively, the accelerated data show that levels will rise by 19.3 inches.” (Museums in Norfolk include the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum of Virginia, Hermitage Museum and Gardens, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and the Railroad Museum of Virginia.) 

The thirty-two localities covered by VIMS report cards are:

  •     Eastport, Maine
  •     Portland, Maine
  •     Boston, Massachusetts
  •     New York, New York
  •     Sandy Hook, New Jersey
  •     Baltimore, Maryland
  •     Norfolk, Virginia
  •     Wilmington, North Carolina
  •     Charleston, South Carolina
  •     Savannah, Georgia
  •     Jacksonville, Florida
  •     Key West, Florida
  •     Key West, Florida
  •     Naples, Florida
  •     St. Petersburg, Florida
  •     Cedar Key, Florida
  •     Pensacola, Florida
  •     Grand Isle, Louisiana
  •     Galveston, Texas
  •     Rockport, Texas
  •     Port Isabel, Texas
  •     San Diego, CA
  •     Los Angeles, CA
  •     Alameda, CA
  •     San Francisco, CA
  •     Crescent City, CA
  •     South Beach, OR
  •     Astoria, OR
  •     Seattle, WA
  •     Ketchikan, AK
  •     Sitka, AK
  •     Juneau, AK
  •     Yakutat, AK
If your museum is located in, or near, these communities, you can use these projections to fuel your discussions of how your organization will cope with rising sea-levels, and how you can help your community make difficult decisions on how to adapt to future of rising tides. 

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1 Comment

  1. If any museum is actively engage in strategic planning to address long term sea rise and the protection
    and possible relocation of a permanent art collection, kindly contact me. Charles Clark, Stonington, CT

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