Among the challenges our Hampton Roads region faces, few are as important as the threat of sea level rising.
Sea level rising is a critical and timely issue for the simple reason that unless steps are taken to mitigate its impact, the Hampton Roads region will become significantly smaller as rising waters cover many of our low-lying areas and reduce others to uninhabitable wetland.
This is not an idle threat. Rising waters are no longer a matter of debate. Throughout the region there is ample documentation that flooding is occurring more often than ever before and that floodwaters are rising higher than ever before. Sea level rising touches rich and poor alike.
(Editor's note: This was originally published in the May 1, 2013 edition of the Virginian Pilot)
"Social capital" describes a community's ability to pull together to address opportunities and challenges. Communities with good social capital have citizens interested in working together and processes and "safe spaces" in which they can address issues, reconcile competing values and find solutions.
This past weekend's events in the Virginia Beach resort area alarmed many people and resulted in widespread conversation. Some of the conversation is constructive.
Some of it, particularly that taking place online in social media, has jumped to conclusions with incomplete and inaccurate information and fostered fear, hysteria and racial stereotyping.