The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projects that sea level in Newport, R.I., could rise up to 7 feet over 1990 levels by 2100. This could mean that within the lifetime of people born today, Rhode Island’s ocean water may rise enough to swallow local waterfronts as we know them now. Natural hazards, such as Superstorm Sandy, have also inflicted significant damage to residences and infrastructure along the state’s coast.
To address challenges from a changing shoreline, the R.I. Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP) is focused on improving understanding of how fast erosion is occurring and what areas and infrastructure are at risk of flooding during storms or from future sea level rise. This plan will improve state policies to better address the impacts of shoreline change.