Sea rise merits close scrutiny, new studies suggest

By on March 30, 2012

Mirlo Beach is already vulnerable to storms like Hurricane Irene in August. (NCDOT)

By Catherine Kozak
Coastal Review Online

For at least a decade, numerous North Carolina scientists have been warning with increasing stridency about the state’s vulnerability to impending sea-level rise, but policymakers have yet to take heed.

Two reports released this month by a group of independent researchers have only reinforced predictions about the effects of a rising Atlantic on the coast.

“Our hope is, really, to provide useful information and help people prepare,” said Ben Strauss, an author of “Surging Seas,” and director of the program on sea-level rise with Climate Central, a nonprofit journalism and research organization based in Princeton, N.J. “The problem is very real. In the scientific community, the only real debate is how fast and how much.”

North Carolina, the report said, has the third-highest amount of land area in the nation that would be inundated by one meter (39 inches) or less of water. It ranks sixth in the number of houses affected and eighth in the population affected.

Of the counties in the state with the largest total population exposed to the risk, Dare County ranks No. 1.

That is hardly a surprise to Stan Riggs, an East Carolina University coastal geologist who has been studying the Outer Banks since the 1970s.

“The bottom line with sea-level rise, this has been going on for 18,000 years now,” said Riggs, whose book The Battle for North Carolina’s Coast, was also released recently.

As he has told anyone who will listen, storm damage on the Outer Banks that leaves roads torn up and houses stranded in the water is only going to increase.

“They’re in the ocean because sea level is still rising,” Riggs said. “This is fact. There’s a train coming down the tracks and it’s getting closer and closer.”

According to “Surging Seas” and a related report by the Environmental Research Letters, the best estimate for the average level of sea rise by 2030 on the Atlantic coast is six inches; by 2050, it’s 13 inches.

In North Carolina, there is a one in six chance that combined sea-level rise, storm surge and tide will exceed three feet by 2020, flooding 3.5 percent of the state’s acreage and 0.9 percent of the state’s homes.

By contrast, the chances are equal that that same amount of water would flood 65.8 percent of Dare County land, impacting 23.1 percent of the homes. In Nags Head, it would amount to 16 percent of the land and 13.7 percent of the homes; in Kitty Hawk, it would be 53.9 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively; in Hatteras, 71.6 percent and 74.6 percent; and in Ocracoke, 45.4 percent and 80.8 percent.

Dennis Stewart, a biologist with Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, said he has already seen the effects of rising seas in Alligator River, which is about two feet above sea level. Saltwater intrusion has been gradually killing off trees, he said, and canals running through refuge lands on the Dare County mainland allow salt water to “jet” farther into the interior system. Over the years, he has seen swaths of land transitioning from pond pine pocosin to salt marsh.

Stewart said that the refuge is working with The Nature Conservancy on ways to adapt and manage for sea-level rise in Alligator River, including planting salt-tolerant trees.

In Pea Island on the north end of Hatteras Island, Stewart said he has observed “tremendous” beach erosion, even on the sound side. Left to nature, the island would be migrating west and widening the sound beach. But maintenance of N.C. 12 and dunes along the ocean side prevents that process.

“So the island is getting narrower and narrower and will continue to do that,” Stewart said. “Our game plan is to manage Pea Island pretty much as we are now.”

But it is clear that one day the ocean will blow out the dikes of each of the refuge’s three bird impoundments, he said. When that happens, whatever is left will be managed as sand flats and marsh.

Hurricane Irene in August tore an inlet through the refuge and breached N.C. 12 at the so-called “S-Curves” on the south end of the refuge. The state Department of Transportation has since restored the road and is working on long-term solutions.

Although Stewart won’t venture to guess what rate seas will rise, he doesn’t question the validity of the science.

“I accept it,” he said. “Only time is going to tell who’s right and who’s wrong about sea-level rise. I want to err on the side of conservation.”

Riggs, on the other hand, expresses no doubt that N.C 12 does not have much of a future on Pea Island.

“Even if you hold Pea Island, the state of North Carolina does not have the money to hold those weak spots,” he said. “No matter what you do there, you’re going to have problems.”
When it comes to fighting geology and the rising ocean, Riggs is confident that sooner or later, the Outer Banks will throw in the towel on N.C.12. In fact, if another storm like Irene came right now, he said, “we’d already be there.”

But Riggs believes the state should be proactive and plan innovative transportation systems, including high-speed ferries that would preserve the coastal economy.

“These are the most spectacular waters in the world,” he said. “People would come from all over the world to see this place. We have to figure out ways to make that happen.”

Even if N.C. 12 was under water on Pea Island and other weak spots on Hatteras Island — areas he called “wimpy” barrier island — Riggs said the villages are less vulnerable because they’re built on higher, more stable ground.

If the road was allowed to go away, he predicted, the barrier islands would naturally rebuild — by moving like “a tank tread” — and the pollutants in Pamlico Sound would be flushed. The healthy nutrient balance would be restored, the water would become saltier, habitats for threatened species would be renewed and fishing would improve. In essence, the equilibrium of the natural system would be restored.

And if the system was left alone, the Hatteras Flats on the soundside, old flood tide deltas, would help the islands to regenerate.

“I like to think of them as the barrier island retirement system,” Riggs said.

The Outer Banks has the potential to be like Core Banks, “a very happy set of barrier islands,” that have been allowed to grow laterally.

Eventually, Riggs wrote in his book, the barrier islands could become “eight Ocracoke-style destination villages, situated like a string of pearls on a vast network of inlet and shoal environments.”

Riggs said that he has received very positive feedback from the public during his recent book tours, but he has seldom heard from any politician.

“It’s like they don’t want to know too much,” he said. “The politicians are thinking short term.”

A sea-level rise report submitted recently by a state-appointed panel of scientists to the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission has been pulled to allow time for the division to respond to critiques of the report, said Tancred Miller, the coastal policy analyst for the state Division of Coastal Management.

Much of the feedback on the report, which had projected sea-level rise between 39 to 54 inches by 2050, Miller said, came from NC-20, a lobbying group for home builders and some coastal counties. The division has posted a much watered-down draft of the report that reflects changes requested by the lobbying group.

Miller said that North Carolina has not yet established any official policy to address climate change or sea-level rise. But it is a priority with the commission, which had asked for the sea-level rise report.

“It’s a place to start,” he said, “just to get an understanding if there is a problem that we need to understand and prepare to react to.”

Other states, including Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, California and New York, he said, have some sort of sea-level policy or response plan.

“I think that there are a lot of states that we can look to that are taking it seriously,” Miller said.

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Wrangler Wayne

May 26, 2012 9:16 am

What’s all the fuss. The oceans have been rising at about 0.12 inches per year. This gives plenty of time for folks to relocate themselves to higher ground.


April 23, 2012 6:37 pm

Prince of Peeps and ekim, you are an embarrassment to all Outer Bankers. If anyone is reading their comments and thinking “wow, those folks sure are ignorant, illiterate and total wing nuts”, please know that we are not all like this. As a matter of fact, I would guess that it’s because they are in such a minority that they feel they have to ‘express’ themselves so vehmently.


April 8, 2012 5:08 pm

Riggs interested in selling his book and making money? Are you kidding? His chicken little threats may be somewhat true because not every part of Hatteras Island was allowed to ” let nature take it’s course”. When you have the spark Service hauling off hundreds of truckloads of sand that later became an inlet in the ash Wednesday storm, zero beach nourishment to the island in the past 40 years, only reactions to disasters, bandaids instead of the surgery needed. Years of dredging sand at Oregon Inlet that might have drifted naturally South to nourish the beaches of Hatteras Island. again the Park Service pushes the three layers of dunes the CCC built, together into one large dune causing erosion at an alarming rate in the 1970′s. I was born in Buxton, my mother and her mother were too, I have watched first hand the damage that has been done when one area of Dare county received help regarding erosion or needing an inlet to stay open while another part of Dare, Hatteras Island, complete negligence. The sea is rising? Well that might be true but let’s level the playing field, if we have to accept Pilkey’s theory ” let nature take it’s course” then it should apply to all of Dare county. At least Hatteras would have a fighting chance. You cannot just pick some areas of a barrier island to “help” while allowing other areas to flood and wash away. ( I am not selling a book) that being said, with today’s knowledge, for less money than one year of free ferries and dredging, the entire 42 miles of rt 12 could be stabilized. Other countries are doing it, states all around us are doing it, jump in NC! It’s time!


April 7, 2012 8:08 am

and what if they’re wrong?

Ron wood

April 6, 2012 8:52 pm

Drew, I did not get that impression from Peeps comments. I think he presents a lucid argument, and I find this discussion interesting and informative.

Prince of Peeps

April 6, 2012 3:38 pm

Drew, it isn’t paranoid when the truth is on my side.


April 6, 2012 2:59 pm

The vast majority of scientific evidence demonstrates that globl warming is happening and, mankind is a contributing factor.

To pick one or two studies that claim global warming is not happening and, ignore the 99% of studies that show it is happening, is intellectually dishonest. Ignore the science at your own peril … just do not put me at peril along with you.


April 5, 2012 11:26 pm

Gee Peeps, you and some of yourl like minded followers sound a little paranoid.

The best question may well be, what if those liberal scientists are right?

Prince of Peeps

April 5, 2012 4:50 pm

Follow this link to NOAA’s chart of sea level rise at Oregon Inlet, more pertinent to our area than Sewell’s Point buoys. Accepting for the sake of argument the indicated sea level rise of .93 feet per 100 years, about an inch every ten years, I believe that is a pace we can all adapt to as it happens. (None of us is ever going to see it, and most of the homes that are here now will not be here in a 100 years. Age will get them before the tide does.) With such empirical evidence, where are people coming up with these “best guesses” of 2-5 feet of rise in the next 20 years, or Algore’s 20 feet of rise by 2016? Can you say Chicken Little? or money grubbing charlatans?

Furthermore, if one looks closely at the chart, there is a slight arch to the graphed line, indicating that the rising trend is slowing. Though there may have been nearly a recorded foot of rise over the past hundred years, the projected rise for the coming 100 years may be only 7″ or 8″, and much less than that in the future.

So in the mean time, let’s spend trillions of dollars we don’t have to deal with something that may not, likely will not happen. There are two groups who want to do this, greedy, self-serving leeches after the money and Progressives who want to drive the American economy into the ground to destroy our nation.

Happy Barracuda

April 5, 2012 4:20 pm

Holy Mackerel Jeff V, You sound like someone who knows what they are writing about.

How do we thick Dunebillies absorb such information? If you comment again, could you knock it down to 4th grade level?

The Outer Banks Voice is not for learning, but to use the comment forum to argue and vent about issues using our own flawed information and personal opinions.


April 5, 2012 9:50 am

For some additional information on sea level rise, I recommend for everyone’s attention the organization Wetlands Watch ( There is a link on the page to an interview they did with WHRO (PBS affiliate) and he shows DATA from Sewell’s Point bouys from when it was installed to today and some other data which is pretty compelling. Even the Navy has realized they need to rethink their future plans because the docks they build ‘back in the day’ were designed so they could be serviced from below but now those may have to be rebuilt since they can’t get boats under there anymore. Sorry I can’t find the Sewell’s Point data, but will post if I can find it. As they say, the numbers don’t lie.

Jeff V

April 5, 2012 9:23 am

Wow….a lot of somewhat scientific and political conclusions here!
As a Coastal Geomorphologist, my quick take is this (Sorry for no peer review/spell check!):
Coastal compartments fluctuate regulary due to three circumstances – changing sea levels, sediment availability (budget) and anthropogenic circumstances (human involvement – see Ocean City, Md). So, no one factor is to blame for drawing ominous conclusions for Hatteras. However, the science is there and it shows evidence of prior migrations of the barrier islands (as studied all over the world). Historically this is due to at least two of the three aspects mentioned above….since humans really didn’t mess with the workings of coastal areas until recently (100 years or so…ask the USACE). All that being said, equilibriums established between sediments and water can dictate ‘roll over’ of the islands and they will regress toward the mainland based on availability of sediments and active increasing sea levels. Barriers (islands) are influenced either by a wave or tidal dominant environment; waves along most of this location push sediments around (obviously). Look at other barrier complexes – the virginia capes for example have a more tidal/ (minor) wave dominated area. As the tides rise, islands ‘sink’, fresh water gets replaced by brine and vegetation dies (Fisherman Island and north). Typical up in the capes of virginia (Eastern Shore). Where as, wave environmens push sand towrd the mainland and/or along shore essentially shifting exposed land landward or parallel to the coast. You can see evidence of shifting below Sandbridge, VA where exposed peat is exposed due to erosion and sediment budget cutoff by man (The peat is generated in sound side sediments). One must also consider volumetric pressure that forces the (re)development of inlets and channels. Inlets typically form/extend where they were prior (Oregon Inlet and you can see old inlets on Aerial photos etc!). So, during storms you get soundside blowouts. Also, to ‘Peep’, global warming from man’s interference may be debated; however, climate change has and will continue to occur. That being said, we live on a constantly changing Earth as evidenced by changes documented and studied by Us (well, some of us). One last comment: If we didn’t leave it as we found it, simplicity suggests we changed it! Enjoy the day!

Stan Clough

April 3, 2012 11:13 pm

While working for NCDOT I saw a report from ECU from the 80′s saying the coast would be around Plymouth in 2020. Not reality. No sign of Global Warming or Ocean Rise has ever been proven. It is all hype for peoples adgendas of more regulation. ENOUGH!!!


April 3, 2012 8:19 pm

The dishonesty of using a photo of storm damage to sell this is my biggest issue with the article. I could just as easily find areas where a shole has formed an island and use it as evidence of falling sea levels. Islands where none were before must mean sea levels are falling. But that would be dishonest too…..


April 3, 2012 8:04 pm

Sue……. I think we’re on the same page. The frustration is with people who won’t admit there is a problem and won’t work to develop a plan of action. Yes we can work toward a solution.

Prince of Peeps

April 3, 2012 7:25 pm

@ junkman: Why are some people in “complete denial about global warming?” Maybe it is because so many global warming “scientists” have been proven to be frauds cooking the books, and that they are still spouting outdated, refuted data claiming shrinking ice sheets and rising sea levels in the effort to promote their agenda. Maybe it is because eco-gurus like Algore have claimed that the east coast will be inundated by 20 sea level rise by 2016. That inspires a lot of faith in their wild rants. Somebody’s going to be eating some inconvenient crow.

Maybe it’s because the truth is that ice sheets are expanding, Antarctic glaciers are growing, and there has been no global warming for the last 12-13 years, all possibly signaling a cooling trend, which would indicate a future of FALLING sea levels, not rising.

@ Chaz: I don’t know what the folks on Okracoke think, but the folks on Hatteras think Okracoke has only a tiny fraction of the traffic that they have. To do the job, would you suggest 40 100-car ferries, 100 40-car ferries, or make them pedestrian ferries and rent everyone a car on the other side, or start rental turnover seven days a week, instead of just Saturdays and Sundays? Enlighten us all with your brilliant solution. And don’t forget a good hurricane evacuation plan. 10,000 jet skies???

@ bbc: That’s easy to explain. Incredibly, the jetties are rising up out of the sand at exactly the same rate as sea level rise, so sea level only appears to remain constant. What a coincidence!

Kevin Gray Conner

April 3, 2012 6:28 pm

Would anyone be interested in listening to another point of view from someone other than Stan Riggs? Yet again, we find that the environmental movement is using information that has been manipulated to induce fear! If they can further depress real estate in an already unstable economic climate, then they’ll do it no matter the impact to bring about the reality of their ill-conceived agenda. I have someone that is willing to come to Dare County and offer a counter argument to all this non-sense. If you’re interested please post on message on this board and I’ll get them here ASAP!


April 3, 2012 1:34 pm

i noticed they changed the title of this thread, now they need to remove the post hurricane irene photo and replace it with one showing how much the sea level has risen here.

30+ years of living here and the high tide and low tide line is still the same at the lighthouse beach jetties, only the beach has changed.


April 3, 2012 10:47 am

If the people who believe money can stop climate change are so much smarter than the rest of us why then can they not manage the funds they already have. Seems to me if I could predict the future, as they can, I could easily turn a small sum into a rather large fortune that would finance all the projects I wanted. A private firm would make a killing building ferries and bridges that could charge tolls when the seas rise and people can’t access their property. Investing in a firm like that would boost any economy. Instead, these people want the government to finance their research, that can never really be completed. Then tax the people removing money from the economy. Oh, and selling Green Credits, something that doesn’t actually exist, on a market that closely resembles a pyramid scam….I wonder why that is……


April 3, 2012 9:48 am

I love how they talk about sea level rise and think we are such fools. If the ocean is rising that also means that the sound will rise. Has anyone seen that occur? Someone needs to go back and take High School Physics class and watch the demonistration of the glass with water and ice in it again. Beach erosion is not sea level rise! Sheep!


April 3, 2012 8:06 am

i don’t think you need to go that far inland, maybe just columbia. it has a better point break set up.


April 2, 2012 6:18 pm

If you enviro FREAKS really believe this global warming crap, Show us by packing up and heading to high ground as soon as you can!!!


April 1, 2012 10:36 pm

I can’t wait to go on dawn patrol for surf breaks in Rocky Mount


April 1, 2012 10:30 pm

i’ve lived on the east coast for almost six decades (over three of them here) and i have to say i’ve seen the coastline change everywhere but no sign of rising sea levels. it must be my bifocals :o)

Zed Cipher

April 1, 2012 7:23 pm

Some very thoughtful comments, kids.

Dazed and Confused

April 1, 2012 6:12 pm

Uh,Darwin was an idiot!Galileo was a heretic.Fossilized bones are a hoax!Riggs is just trying to sell his book?


April 1, 2012 4:07 pm

Junkman, people believe what they want, despite all evidence to the contrary. It would seem though, that regardless of what a person believes, there would be consensus that some long-term engineering plan is necessary for the Outer Banks. As someone else said, the Dutch have survived, Outer Bankers can too, but it takes preparing and planning, then doing.


April 1, 2012 2:15 pm

Prince of Peeps,

You said:

“Anyone who has ever seen the summer traffic on 158 on Saturday and Sunday, change over days, wouldn’t have to think more than a quarter of a second to realize the a ferry system would be totally unworkable”.

What do you think the folks on Ocracoke would say about such a foolish statement?

The idea about ferries relates to the communities on Hatteras Island.

Burning 400,000,00 years of oil while clear cutting the planet is definitely having an impact on the chemistry of the atmosphere and those of us living on these barrier islands will have a front row seat for the effects of that change.

For those who can’t wrap their heads around that fact, don’t fret. There is PLENTY of sand around to bury your heads in, especially here in Nags Head!


April 1, 2012 12:36 pm

I’m continually amazed at the number of people in complete denial about global warming, shrinking ice sheets and rising sea levels. Maybe its because the ultimate consequences will be after their (our) lifetimes, but if they have no concern for future generations, it says a lot about the ignorance and greed pervasive in parts of society today.

KDH Rezident Evil

April 1, 2012 12:10 pm

The funny thing is, at the rate the sea levels are rising, most of us will still be around to see who was right and who was wrong.


April 1, 2012 11:46 am

40,000 years ago the coastline was at the edge of the outer continental shelf. 2.5 million years ago it was at the Suffolk Scarp. We don’t live in a static environment, but change is very slow. We have seen changes in the coast in our lifetime. Wind and water move sand very nicely. That’s how the Outerbanks got here in the first place. Blaming the damage from north east winds and hurricanes on climate change is dishonest and dishonesty in a conversation tends to lead people to believe that you have no real facts to back up your opinions. And that’s a quick way to end an honest conversation………

Zed Cipher

April 1, 2012 11:39 am

Well, let’s just suppose for a few minutes that the Earth was actually round, as some have put forth…

Why has it become so fashionable to reject science?


April 1, 2012 10:40 am

Glad I built my house on a 40′ high dune. Is anyone here seriously thinking that sea level is NOT rising?

How much, how fast, and why can be debated. The rising level is measurable.

Rather than retreat though, we should just do what the Dutch have done for centuries – engineer solutions.


April 1, 2012 9:00 am

and, the title of the piece should have been worded ‘coastal areas of the world’, not just OBX.

Stan Clough

March 31, 2012 9:53 pm

+Duke is selling reality!!!

Prince of Peeps

March 31, 2012 9:10 pm

@ OBXOutfitters: Not to be a defender of Riggs, though I do give him credit for having some things right, much of what he says is way off base, I do defend the particular methodology of brainstorming. Usually a group gathers to focus on an issue, seeking a solution to a problem or whatever. They discuss it throwing, out ideas off the top of their head, no matter how wild or ridiculous. Most of them pass as unfeasible and are forgotten within seconds. Occasionally someone comes up with an idea that merits further thought and discussion, perhaps inspiring others to improve or contribute to the idea. Usually the off the wall ideas are kept within the group, not vocalized publicly as legitimate solutions, as Mr. Riggs has done. Silly or ill thought out ideas outside the brainstorming group usually inspire derision and ridicule, undermining the credibility of the proposer. Anyone who has ever seen the summer traffic on 158 on Saturday and Sunday, change over days, wouldn’t have to think more than a quarter of a second to realize the a ferry system would be totally unworkable. That was an idea that should have been left on the group session floor.


March 31, 2012 5:50 pm


If Dr Riggs is selling books, what is it that Duke Geraghty is selling?

Prince of Peeps

March 31, 2012 3:16 pm

The salt water encroachment into the Alligator River Refuge, via the canals, is having an effect because of the presence of the canals, not rising sea levels. Over the last six decades many canals have been dug 1)to provide fill for road construction, 2)land drainage for mosquito control programs, 3)land drainage for farming. The canals provided for the intrusion of saltier waters, not rising sea levels.


March 31, 2012 3:16 pm

This section of the article >>

But Riggs believes the state should be proactive and plan innovative transportation systems, including high-speed ferries that would preserve the coastal economy. “These are the most spectacular waters in the world,” he said. “People would come from all over the world to see this place. We have to figure out ways to make that happen.”

<< is an all too frequent occurrence — people throwing out ideas first with no solutions. Not that the idea is good nor bad, just that it's akin to an empty promise…

Prince of Peeps

March 31, 2012 3:07 pm

“They’re (roads and houses) in the ocean because sea level is still rising,” Riggs said. “This is fact.”

No Mr. Riggs, it is not a fact. They’re in the ocean because of erosion, not higher sea level. Erosion and it’s causes are another topic altogether, and shouldn’t be cited in this article as proof of rising sea level.

Prince of Peeps

March 31, 2012 2:57 pm

More scare tactic blather designed to manipulate people, rather than to inform them. Ben Strauss warns (I imagine him waving his arms frantically, with spittle flying everywhere, screeching in an agitated, high pitched voice) that 39″ sea level rise would inundate half of the coastal land area, causing devastating effects for the local populations. Well, yes, 39″ sea level rise would be disastrous. But then Strauss admits that “best estimates” (but he doesn’t say by whom) indicate 6″ rise by 2030 and 13″ by 2050. Then he goes right back to detailing the extent of 39″ flooding in the county and each of it’s townships. Is that 39″ a bit of an exaggeration then, and for what purpose? Can you say “scare tactics?” What’s the agenda? Manipulating and controlling the public. Liberals just love to be in charge, elitists who know better than everyone else, and right or wrong, are more than happy to tell everyone else what to do (and are so easily offended when people don’t listen to them.)

Many scientists (not emotional journalists) tell us that warming is cyclical, and caused by the sun, not man. The fact that recent net accumulation of snow and ice in Antarctica and growing ice fields in the arctic seem to bear out the cyclical theory, as well as the fact that there has been no warming of the earth for well over a decade, and further, it appears that a cooling spell may be starting. That means that the poles are recapturing the water that contributed to the recent sea level rise (3/4″ to 2-1/2″ to 5-6″ over the last few decades, depending on who you listen to.) So that would indicate that sea levels will be falling in the near future, not rising. That doesn’t stop the Chicken Littles from blaring out their gloom and doom, though. They have no ethics, and will say anything to further their agenda.

Unfortunately for them, on a daily basis their ruse is being shown for the hoax that it is. I just hope that sanity prevails before politicians can be coerced into pouring truckloads of our tax monies into their giant global warming rathole.

Harry Jackson

March 31, 2012 1:25 pm

I left Coastal NC after my Tour of Duty ended in the Marine Corps. For 25 years, I have been trying to position myself to return there in some capacity. I love it there, and LOVE the people I have met on my many visits, especially to Ocracoke and Hatteras. DUKE makes some great points. As does bbc. Anyone needing a great salesman, cabinetmaker, or general handyman, please get in touch. Will work for minimal shelter and lodging.


March 31, 2012 11:49 am

I’m with Duke on this one….Riggs is selling books.

Salvo Jimmy

March 31, 2012 11:37 am

What does not come thru on all the articles I keep seeing on this is that geological plate shifts along the Mid-Atlantic coast causing the land to “sink” actually accounts for about 1.5 times as much “rise” as does the warming theory.,0,6553743.story


March 31, 2012 11:27 am


Your claim that NC20 is not a lobbying group doesn’t hold water.

Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.

It is quite clear they lobbied the CRC to disregard the recommendations of their own Science panel. In fact, they say on their website that it might be their “most impressive accomplishment to date.”

Also, given the makeup of the NC20 BOD, it isn’t a stretch to suggest they had their own “predetermined conclusion” about how the “science” should be presented.

As for your comments concerning Dr Rigg’s, can you provide links that back up your assertions?

Bill Price

March 31, 2012 11:05 am

Dr. Riggs, an esteemed Coastal Geologist at East Carolina University ) obviously believes that rapidly increasing Sea Level Rise is threatening coastal North Carolina. At the same time, the Carteret County Commissioners have 
asked the State to put the CRC’s Science Panel’s  “literature 
search” on Hold ,,  UNTIL  sound verifiable Science is presented.
Certainly,  Dr. Riggs is much better informed on coastal issues than 
most other people, so I wonder if he would be willing to participate in an open public forum on Sea Level Rise, so the public can have a chance to hear both sides of the issue?
Bill Price Pine Knoll Shores


March 31, 2012 10:13 am

Bunch of pig feathers! If you believe this global warming poo, please pack up an get off the island as soon as you can! & an take Kozak with you

Martin Booth

March 31, 2012 10:00 am

It is fortunate that we have plenty of sand for all of the “deniers” to stick their heads.

Dazed and Confused

March 31, 2012 9:37 am

“Don’t worry! Be happy!” Someone has got to be right? Just like replenishing beaches and dredging inlets is like “putting lipstick on a pig” ,so is trying to change natural coastal change.


March 31, 2012 7:45 am

a photo taken after a hurricane should not be used on an article about sea level rising. it proves nothing.


March 30, 2012 9:30 pm

‘high-speed ferries’

no. no. no. the sound is too shallow. the weather too unpredictable. the cost to build, operate, maintain…. too much.

Michael O'Brien

March 30, 2012 9:09 pm

Will the Judges Decree still be in effect on Hatteras Island when the sea rises over us all?

And if you want to see where Global Warming is coming from… visit…

Thank you Duke for setting it straight…

Duke Geraghty

March 30, 2012 8:27 pm

The 3rd paragraph states it all,”a nonprofit journalism and research organization”. The CRC Science panel report was a literary report and not a science report. NC 20 brought in scientists to dispute the facts on accelerated seal level rise. That is why the report was pulled. Stanley Riggs is trying to sell books and loves to predict gloom and doom. According to him we should all move now. Science, not a predetermined conclusion, should be used as a basis for planning for sea level rise. BTW, NC20 is not a lobbying group for home builders and some coastal counties, it is “partnership of the people, local governments, and businesses of the 20 coastal (CAMA) Counties in North Carolina concerned with the environmental and economic sustainability of the Coastal NC. Check out the website

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