Sea level rise
Global sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch per year.
-- Source: NOAA Ocean Service
The average worldwide sea level has increased more over the past 150 years than during the previous 1,500 years, experts say, and the seas continue to rise at an ever-increasing pace.
All across the region, communities are finding that rising seas and rising rivers are two sides of the same coin. New research funded by the Environmental Protection Agency may help managers target their responses to climate-fueled flood risks in Puget Sound. The following article was commissioned by the Habitat Strategic Initiative Lead (HSIL), a cross-agency team co-led by the Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources.
A pilot project to create a 'living dike' in Canada's Boundary Bay is designed to help a saltwater marsh survive rising waters due to climate change.
Close to 30% of Puget Sound's shoreline is armored with seawalls and other structures meant to protect beaches against rising tides and erosion. But science increasingly shows that these structures are ineffective and cause significant harm to salmon and other creatures. State and federal agencies have been encouraging private property owners to remove armoring in a race to improve habitat, but why did so much of it start appearing in the first place?
Residential shoreline loan program feasibility study: Developing a new Shore Friendly incentive to help Puget Sound homeowners finance beach restoration and sea level rise adaptation
The 2018 Shoreline Armoring Implementation Strategy identified development of new financial incentives as a near-term priority. This study, funded by the Habitat Strategic Initiative, assesses the feasibility of developing a Shore Friendly residential shoreline loan program.
Can scientists bring back the lost tidal forests of Puget Sound? It could take generations, but restoring this rare habitat will pay big dividends for Puget Sound’s salmon.
A report from the Washington Coastal Resilience Project provides an updated assessment of projected sea level change for coastal Washington State and its relationship to coastal hazards such as flooding and erosion.
The Puget Sound Coastal Storm Modeling System analyzes the potential impacts of sea level rise on nearshore areas of the Puget Sound region.
Climate change could cause sea levels to rise more than four feet in some parts of Puget Sound, leaving shoreline residents with some tough decisions. Experts say fighting the waves with conventional seawalls may not be the answer.
Planning for rising seawater in Puget Sound has often focused on public property such as roads, buildings and utilities. Now local governments are looking more closely at private property despite regulations based on traditional flooding history.
Where shoreline bulkheads remain in place, the loss of spawning habitat used by surf smelt is likely to reach 80 percent.
Rising sea levels are expected to exacerbate habitat loss caused by bulkheads, according to studies in the San Juan Islands.
A 2015 report from the University of Washington provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the expected impacts of climate change on the Puget Sound region.