New report warns of climate change impact to Delaware Estuary

    Partnership for Delaware Estuary report lists recommendations to deal with imapct of climate change.

    The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary has issued a 118-page report outlining how climate change will affect the Delaware Estuary over the next few decades.  The report says climate change will include increased temperatures, higher sea level and stronger storms.  The report predicts an increase in median temperature of 4 to 7 degrees Farenheit over the next 90 years.  That increase in temperature would translate into a rise in sea level between 1.5 and 5 feet, which would increase the volume of salt water in the Delaware River and Delaware Bay.

    Science director at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary Danielle Kreeger says the sea level rise will result in the loss of tidal wetlands.  “Our models suggest at least 25% will be lost this century, even if they successfully move inland.  Without action, these losses will lead to more coastal flooding, poorer water quality, increased carbon in our atmosphere, and a less productive estuary.”

    The report outlines steps to mitigate the impact of climate change over the next 100 years including preserving land  that borders tidal wetlands to give those wetlands an undeveloped space to move to if the sea level rises.  The report also advocates more preservation of forest land in southern New York and northeastern Pennsylvania as part of an effort to ensure clean drinking water into the future.

    Similar research is currently being conducted in five other estuaries around the country.

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