Study: Maryland Faces $27.4 Billion Price Tag for Sea Level Rise

Maryland Matters article (2019-07-01) reported that a new study estimated Maryland will need to spend $27.4 billion prepare coastal communities for sea level rise over the next 20 years.

The study, “High Tide Tax: The Price to Protect Coastal Communities from Rising Seas,” based the costs on 2,996 miles of sea wall construction through 2040. The study was prepared by the Center for Climate Integrity, who seeks to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, including through holding fossil fuel companies responsible liable for any climate damage they may have caused.

The article noted that the study ranks Maryland as the 5th highest state for climate adaptation costs, behind Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia.

From the article:

“Our collective failure to come to grips with the massive costs of climate adaptation is the latest, and most delusional form of climate denial,” said Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity. …

[The study] estimates that Dorchester County alone will need $6.5 billion for sea walls. Rounding out the top 10 local jurisdictions: Somerset County ($3.1 billion); Worcester County ($2.7 billion); St. Mary’s County ($2.6 billion); Talbot County ($2.4 billion); Anne Arundel County ($1.9 billion); Queen Anne’s County ($1.8 billion); Kent County ($1.5 billion); Wicomico County ($1.3 billion); and Charles County ($1.2 billion).

Ocean City will need $238 million, the report estimates, and Baltimore City will need more than $123.8 million.

The article stated that according to the study, 50,000 miles of coastal barriers are need nationwide. The Center advocates that oil and gas companies pay for the work.

Useful Links

Study – “High Tide Tax: The Price to Protect Coastal Communities from Rising Seas”

The Center for Climate Integrity Webpage

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