Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Report: Global Warming Threatens Jamestown, Chincoteague, Shenandoah

Jamestown SettlementReports USA Today's Green House:
Human-caused climate change threatens to flood Jamestown, the first permanent European settlement in what became the American colonies and the United States, says a report Wednesday by environmental groups.

Jamestown Island, the site of the original 1607 settlement, is low enough to be inundated by rising seas and tidal waters -- even if the waters do not rise as much by 2100 as scientists predict, according to the report by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. [...]

"Climate change poses the greatest risk our National Parks have ever faced," says Theo Spencer, senior advocate of NRDC's Climate Center. He says Jamestown, along with two other parks, attracts six million visitors each year who spend more than $200 million and support 4,000 Virginia jobs.

The report (PDF) says the other two parks also face grave risks: Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge could lose its beach and Shenandoah National Park could see it brilliant fall colors muted by air pollution and encroaching pine trees.
Previous reports have made similar warning about threats to Virginia's coastal communities & wildlife habitats. And that's on normal days, never mind when a hurricane threatens to bring a storm surge.
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