Virginia as the "Silicon Valley" of sea level rise? It could happen.

Mar 21, 2019

Can Virginia make money off sea level rise?

The very idea sounds backwards — usually frequent flooding from bigger and more destructive storms is costly. Remember Hurricane Florence? One study showed a direct hit could have cost the region $5 billion of its gross domestic product in just three months.

But some are looking at the rising seas and sensing opportunity.

"What we haven't seen yet is sort of the Google of climate change," said Robert McNab, an economics professor at Old Dominion University who worked on the Florence impact study last September.

"Cities and regions will be competing over the coming decades to essentially become the next Silicon Valley with regards to climate change and sea level rise," McNab said. The cities and states that best show they can adapt and have a willingness to solve a problem will see a cluster of engineering and architecture firms wanting to move in to help out.

The question of who becomes the hub is up for grabs, McNab said, but Virginia appears on its way.

Full article here.