March 27, 2019: Will Dikes Protect Our Way of Life from Sea-Level Rise?


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Global sea-level rise is accelerating due to climate change. Impacts here in Northwest Washington will be exacerbated by our unique geology, dynamic stream run-off, coastal storms and human land-use activities. Imagine Birch Bay, the Skagit delta, Boulevard Park and our central waterfront. How long will they survive? Identifying successful, cost-effective approaches to protect property, infrastructure, our economy and lifestyle will require better understanding and tools. Resilience will only be realized with more strategic planning to protect our communities and the ecosystem functions on which we rely.

Dr. Eric Grossman is a coastal and marine geologist and geophysicist with the U. S. Geological Survey Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, stationed at WWU. His Puget Sound Coastal Storm Modeling System helps communities, planners and decision-makers evaluate how natural hazards and climate change impacts will affect all of us. He leads the Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound (CHIPS) which improves our understanding of habitats and restoration efforts that can better support and restore wildlife and endangered species.

Dr. Grossman holds a PhD in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawaii. He serves as Tribal Liaison for the USGS Natural Hazards Mission Area and is a member of both the Skagit Climate Science Consortium and the Whatcom County Climate Advisory Committee.