VIMS hosts talk Thursday on how Virginia can respond to coastal flooding

The Coleman Bridge during Hurricane Isabel. Photo courtesy of VIMS.

Researcher Molly Mitchell will discuss on Thursday recommendations on responding to coastal flooding at the year's first "After Hours" lecture series at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Mitchell was the lead author of a recent report that outlined the options that would most effectively protect communities, roadways and military installations in Tidewater Virginia and along the Eastern shore from high tides, storm surge and rising seas, said a VIMS spokesman.

The recommendations are based on information gathered from an advisory panel and a comprehensive yearlong review of strategies used in other vulnerable areas in the U.S. and worldwide, including New Orleans, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Japan, the spokesman said.

The report states that no single response will fully address the complex web of social, legal and environmental issues that contribute to Tidewater's vulnerability to coastal flooding.

Rather it calls for a multi-step approach with enough flexibility to allow policy makers to adapt as conditions change and knowledge grows.

But it also says the time for action is now.

The free presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Watermen's Hall on the VIMS campus at Gloucester Point. Reservations are required due to limited space, however. Register at vims.edu/events or call 804-684-7846.