Sun Editorial Urges Action Against Climate Change “Indifference” Based on Naval Academy Risk

Baltimore Sun editorial (2019-10-14) expressed frustration about a perceived lack of interest in climate change effects in Maryland and urged the state and local communities to take action. The editorial was based on a recent article published by the U.S. Naval Institute discussing the potential of having to relocate the U.S. Naval Academy due to sea level rise.

The Naval Institute article noted that the Academy is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it is located in a low-lying area between the Severn River and Spa and College creeks. The article stated that action was needed to address the pending threat.

The editorial discussed the article and several other unusual recent flooding events in the Inner Harbor, Ocean City, and Annapolis, caused in part by Tropical Storm Melissa and high tide conditions. The editorial noted that the flooding was an “eye-opener for long-time residents” as there was no heavy rainfall feeding the flooding. The editorial stressed that the Chesapeake Bay region is more susceptible to sea level rise than most other coastal areas and criticized the “indifference” that exists against the threat. The editorial urged Marylanders to take action. From the editorial:

As a 2017 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report pointed out, the Chesapeake Bay is considered the third most vulnerable area in the United States to sea level rise. This isn’t speculation, it’s fact. Records show that water levels in the Chesapeake Bay have increased between 1.2 to 1.4 inches per decade over the past 100 years. That is 50% more than the average observed around the rest of the world over the same time period. …
Frankly, more Maryland communities need to think about the choices they face….This isn’t just a problem for the next generation, events like the weekend flooding are likely to become increasingly common in the years ahead….What’s needed now is a similarly pragmatic approach: How should Maryland best protect itself from the future and far worse floodwaters ahead?
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U.S. Naval Institute Article (published October 2019)