7 National Seashores Threatened By Climate Change

Human-accelerated climate change is already taking its toll on seven of the Atlantic Coastline’s national seashores, according to a new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Researchers today announced that if heat-trapping pollution isn’t drastically reduced, all seven face real risk of being submerged by rising sea levels.

The national seashores most threatened by unchecked climate change are Cape Cod (in Massachusetts), Fire Island (New York), Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia), Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout (North Carolina), Cumberland Island (Georgia), and Canaveral (Florida).

All seven of these coastal areas see a high volume of tourists and vacationers, but this thriving industry would suffer greatly if scientist predictions of sea level rise are fulfilled. The report, Atlantic National Seashores in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption [PDF], states that all areas listed have a majority of their lands less than one meter (3.3 feet) above sea level, and therefore are at serious risk of inundation by a higher sea level.

“Science is compelling that climate is changing, becoming warmer and much more variable,” said Dr. S. Jeffress Williams, scientist emeritus for the U.S. Geological Survey. ”Many impacts are already affecting Atlantic National Seashores and will do so for decades into the future. This new assessment is important for planning for these changes by documenting effects such as sea level rise and warming on both the natural resources in the parks and also the public who visit the parks and value what the parks offer.”

In order to avoid the impending destruction of these valuable national seashores, researchers say the EPA must be allowed to enforce the Clean Air Act, a piece of legislation that has come under continued attack by the fossil fuel industry and its pocket politicians. The report also recommends establishing comprehensive mandatory limits on carbon pollution to reduce emissions by at least 20 percent below current levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, and programs to educate National Park visitors on climate change threats and examples of emission reduction efforts.

Related Reading:

VA Scientists Banned From Saying “Sea Level Rise”

EPA Must Enforce The Clean Air Act On Coal-Fired Power Plants

Sea Level Rise From Global Warming Is Unstoppable, Say Scientists

Image of Cape Cod seashore via Thinkstock.


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

it's a sad and scary phenomenon

Ernest Roth
Ernest R.4 years ago

@ Yvette T. “Eating animals is #1 cause of Earth devastation”. Wrong. Overpopulation is the #1 cause. Humans have been eating other animals for hundreds of thousands of years, but the survival of the human species was never threatened before the effects of the Industrial Revolution and overpopulation and rapidly increasing Co2 levels were well established. Whether people unanimously adopt a vegan diet or not, and they will not, it is too late. Game over.

Wendy Schroeder
Wendy Schroeder4 years ago

The whole world is changing due to climate change. Sigh...

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P.4 years ago


Sije Dijkstra
Past Member 4 years ago


Grace Adams
Grace Adams4 years ago

To be politically feasible in USA must be more profitable to BIG BUSINESS than business as usual. Capturing methane already leaking from thawing tundra and unstable seabed deposits should be fairly easy to persuade fossil fuel firms to do. It might even distract them from fracking and drilling for new reserves in arctic and deep underwater way off shore. Replacing fossil fuel with sustainable energy is necessary but to be politically feasible, it will need to be given to fossil fuel firms and we will need to buy fossil fuel reserves displaced by sustainable energy. CO2 capture and storage will cost at least $3.5 trillion a year every year for up to 300 years to deal with over 10,000 trillion metric tons of CO2 already emitted.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago


Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago


Nb B.
No B.4 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thank you for the information.