Sea Level Rise

Joanne Glode / Nature Conservancy

New Hampshire’s coastal towns are beginning to think about adapting to climate change. It’ll mean finding new ways to protect critical pieces of infrastructure from rising seas, heavier rains and stronger storms.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has this story of the lessons from a major road project in Newmarket that’s one of the first in the state to focus on climate resilience.


Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A new state report says rising seas are on track to cause widespread problems in New Hampshire's coastal communities within decades.

Now, regulators want public input on how the latest scientific findings could guide local resilience planning in the future.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Middle schoolers in Portsmouth on Wednesday showcased their ideas to make their city more sustainable – and more prepared for climate change – within the next decade.

The eighth graders based their projects on the United Nations' sustainable development goals – to tackle climate change, inequality, public health issues and more.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR file photo, aerial support by Lighthawk

At town meeting in Hampton Tuesday, residents could take another big step in adapting to rising seas.

Voters will decide whether to require pilings under new structures in certain at-risk coastal areas.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Last weekend's winter storm caused only moderate flooding on New Hampshire's Seacoast. But it provided a window into how rising seas will make flooding more frequent, bringing challenges to the state's coastal communities.

DAN TUOHY / NHPR

A new report from Columbia University and First Street Foundation finds that sea level rise and associated tidal flooding have already soaked up value from the coastal New England real estate market.

Researchers say homes have forgone $400 million in relative value since 2005. And in New Hampshire, it has cost homeowners $15 million in lost value.

Hampton Beach Village District

A new report says sea level rise has already cost New Hampshire more than $15 million in coastal property valuation in recent years.

Researchers from Columbia University and the First Street Foundation, a national nonprofit, analyzed 2.5 million coastal homes in four New England states.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

State legislators will consider how to prepare New Hampshire for the effects of climate change this session – including with one bill that would help coastal towns facing rising seas.

Seacoast-area state Senator David Watters spoke at the Seacoast Environmental Film Festival Saturday, after a documentary about sea level rise on the Chesapeake Bay.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hundreds of people rallied for action on climate change in Keene and Portsmouth this weekend.

They were part of demonstrations nationwide, ahead of a global climate summit in San Francisco this week.

Seacoast families and students filled Portsmouth's Market Square with electric vehicles and signs denouncing fossil fuels and President Trump’s climate policies.

They listened as mock-time travelers told stories from two potential futures. One came after inaction on climate in the present day:

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

Local water regulators from around the state will be in Concord on Thursday to talk about risks facing New Hampshire's drinking water system.

The state organizes the annual conference, focused on sustaining and protecting the state’s groundwater, with the American Ground Water Trust, a national nonprofit based in Concord.

The group’s executive director, Andrew Stone, says New Hampshire relies more on private or community wells than almost any other state – which makes safeguarding water supplies tricky.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is offering grants to coastal communities looking to better prepare for the effects of climate change.

A total amount of $200,000 is available to towns, state agencies, and private groups.  

Winning projects in the past have included everything from infrastructure projects, to flood plain studies, to educational outreach programs.

Jason Moon for NHPR

New Hampshire’s Seacoast is home to some of the earliest history of European settlers anywhere in the country. Believe it or not, much of that history is still being uncovered.

But now climate change and sea-level rise is adding new urgency to those efforts.

NHPR’s Jason Moon joined a UNH researcher for a hike to see a centuries-old archaeological site that is literally washing away.

Jason Moon for NHPR

On the Seacoast, crews are working to repair damage from winter storms in time for the summer tourist season.

At North Hampton State Beach, repairs are being made to a collapsed parking lot and sidewalk.

Jason Moon for NHPR

New research from UNH says nuisance flooding of roads on the East coast has increased by 90 percent over the last two decades.

Nuisance flooding occurs as a result of normal tidal activity. It's the kind of flooding that can happen on sunny day with calm weather.

The new report estimates that nuisance flooding is already causing over 100 million hours of delays for drivers each year. As oceans rise, the report says, so could that number.

Jason Moon for NHPR

As New Hampshire’s coastline prepares for a world with rising seas and stronger storms, communities and homeowners have different options, none of them simple: seawalls, raised structures, a retreat from the shoreline.

But some scientists in New Hampshire are pitching a more natural approach. All it takes is a little grass and some time.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Early this week, coastal communities in New Hampshire will experience an event known as King Tide. A King Tide occurs when the sun and moon align and their combined gravitational pull creates an especially high high-tide.

The Otter, Flickr

By the end of this century, scientists predict the ocean on New Hampshire’s coast will rise anywhere between 4 and 6.5 feet above where it is today—a consequence of climate change. But when the sea rises, groundwater rises to keep up. That would spell trouble for roadways, even roads inland from the ocean, according to a new study from UNH.

profilestrategygroup.com

Michael Sununu, brother to Gov. Chris Sununu, is criticizing the science behind a recent bipartisan state report on the impact of climate change on the Seacoast.

In a 25 page critique, Michael Sununu calls the Coastal Risks and Hazard Report “alarmist hand wringing” that would lead to wasteful spending of public money.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Yesterday, a new report was released with suggestions for how Seacoast communities should prepare for the effects of climate change. The document could influence town planning and development in the region for years.

The report came from the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, which was created by the legislature back in 2013. It had 37-members representing Seacoast towns, state agencies, and private-sector interests.

Jason Moon for NHPR

For New Hampshire’s Seacoast, it’s no secret that climate change and the resulting rise in sea-level rise is one of the biggest challenges facing the region. But while the threat is well known, the ways Seacoast communities are preparing for it aren’t always what you’d expect. NHPR’s Jason Moon reports for our month-long series Life on the Seacoast.

Ron Sher; PREP King Tide Photo Contest

Thirty-five mayors and other local elected officials from coastal communities all over the country gathered in New Hampshire this weekend to talk about Sea Level Rise. They came from both parties, and they didn’t wind up in the state that hosts the nation’s first primary by accident. 

Basically anywhere with a coast was represented.