What Will Adaptation Cost? An Economic Framework for Coastal Community Infrastructure

Global sea level has been rising over the past several decades and is expected to continue to rise in the
decades to come. This shift poses a grave threat to coastal communities. Low-lying areas will experience
more frequent inundation and shorelines will be more susceptible to increased erosion. Increased storm
surges are already causing devastating floods. Sooner than most community leaders realize, some areas
could be submerged so often or eroded so severely that people will be forced to abandon their homes
and businesses. According to the National Ocean Economics Program, coastal communities account for
nearly 60 percent of the nation’s gross national product. 1 With so much of our nation’s economy
increasingly vulnerable to coastal hazards, communities
need to consider future sea level rise in their decision-making

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