Doom for D.C.'s Waterfront?

Survey says developed areas are likely safe

By Chris Needham
|  Thursday, Oct 29, 2009  |  Updated 11:16 AM EDT
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Doom for D.C.'s Waterfront?

Kevin Scarpa

How soon til we have white caps on the Potomac?

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Run for the hills -- the safety of the Piedmont! We're all doomed!

That's what the latest environmental study says, anyway, as the Post recounts

Sea-level rise could imperil low-lying areas along the length of the Atlantic Coast, but people are still building beach houses and condominiums there, which could lead to hard decisions about what to save, according to a scientific study released Tuesday.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, mapped coastal development from Florida to Massachusetts and found that about 60 percent of the lowest land along the shoreline is built up or probably will be. Thirty-three percent is rural land that might be developed in the future.

What's this going to do to the price of real estate on Sugarloaf Mountain?

The study -- which is loaded with coulds, mights, maybes and perhapses -- says that if choices have to be made about what to protect, developed areas will take priority over undeveloped woods and fields.  Gee, thanks, study!

What's that mean for D.C.?  Nothing if you're living along the eastern bank of the Potomac -- you think they're really going to let Georgetown flood? -- but lots if you're one of the deer on the suddenly submerged Teddy Roosevelt Island.

So get your hiking in there before it's too late.  2012, perhaps?

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