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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Economic Impact Meeting Draws Large Group of Stakeholders

More than 50 local, state, federal, university and philanthropic partners recently gathered at Old Dominion's Virginia Analysis, Modeling and Simulation Analysis Center to discuss the economic impacts of sea level rise in Hampton Roads.

Many coinciding projects are ongoing in the area, and bringing leading minds together allowed for collaboration, said Ann Phillips, chair of the Infrastructure Working Group of the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project. The meeting was co-hosted by the infrastructure group and the pilot project's Economic Advisory Committee, of which Dr. Larry 'Chip' Filer, associate professor of economics, is chair.

"Reviewing this work collaboratively presented an excellent opportunity to bring together cities, municipalities and agencies doing related studies, to understand the scope of their work, and to learn where there may be opportunities to share information, data and analysis for current and future efforts to understand and prepare for the impacts of sea level rise in and on the Hampton Roads region," Phillips said.

Topics of discussion included reports and overviews of ongoing work by the U.S. Department of Transportation in Hampton Roads; studies on economic impact and potential consequences of failure to adapt to sea level rise in Hampton Roads; joint land use studies from the Navy and Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and many others.

Although the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project will wrap up its two-year run on June 30, work is ongoing and collaborations for moving forward are underway.

"As the whole of government/community effort has focused on an integrated regional planning process to mitigate and adapt with a focus on both national security and economic impacts, this meeting represented a key starting point on the latter," said Ray Toll, director of coastal resilience research at ODU. "We must continue to work this new process with both in mind. "

A full list of presentations can be found at the Center for Sea Level Rise website.