BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The future is looking bleak for a number of Maryland coastal communities along the Eastern Shore, according to a report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
New findings suggest that between climate change and chronic flooding many of these areas could soon be dealing with even more frequent flooding.
Aside from Louisiana, Maryland is predicted to be severely impacted by rising seas.
The report suggests that between rising sea levels and severe flooding, many parts of the Eastern Shore will face “chronic inundation.” Which means communities will be frequently underwater, at least 26 times per year, according to the research.
Scientists say of the more than 160 communities facing this bleak future, 22 of them are in Maryland, most on the Eastern Shore.
“We have Hoopers Island which is going to be almost 50 percent inundated, also we have Smith Island which is going to 40 percent inundated,” says Astrid Caldas with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We have Taylor’s Island which is going to 55 percent chronically inundated even more than Crisfield.”
Many of the communities experts say are also coping with sinking lands. The findings are not new to locals who have seen similar reports in the past, but it doesn’t make them any less concerning.
“I don’t think Crisfield is going to be here too much longer,” one person says.
Adapting and accommodating to the rising sea level are what some scientists suggest to prepare for the future, but others believe retreat may be the only other option.
“They’ve got some time to do some serious planning,” one man says.
Scientists say if nothing else the data at least provides a better time table of what could happen, giving communities time to prepare.
Many communities and cities like Annapolis are already investing heavily in flood preparation.
Experts say if we are able to reduce emissions in the coming years, the impact of the flooding could be less severe.