Scott to Join Senator Kaine at ODU Forum on Sea Level Rise

June 21, 2014
In The News

Yes, it's another forum on sea level rise. But, this time, the organizer is a U.S. senator.

That could be a good sign for regional efforts to attract federal attention - and money - for solving what might be Hampton Roads' trickiest problem.

A combination of rising water and sinking land make the region one of the most vulnerable areas in the country to sea level rise.

The public forum, called Meeting the Challenge, is being put on by U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and other federal officials, Democrats and Republicans. It's scheduled for June 30 from 9 a.m. to noon at Old Dominion University's Ted Constant Convocation Center.

The announcement of the forum came Friday at the first meeting of a regional committee that will be working issues including development rules in low-lying areas and adapting public infrastructure to higher water levels.

"This is a key element in the future of Hampton Roads," said Ron Williams Jr., a Norfolk assistant city manager and committee member.

In addition to Kaine, U.S. Reps. Scott Rigell and Rob Wittman, both Republicans, and Bobby Scott, a Democrat, are expected to attend.

A Kaine spokeswoman said it's important federal officials understand what Hampton Roads is facing.

"It's starting to register on everyone's mind," Diane Kaufman said.

Earlier this month, Hampton Roads was targeted for a national pilot project designed to figure out how different levels of government, academia and the private sector can work together to combat the effects of sea level rise and climate change.

Aaron Applegate, 757-222-5122,