climate change

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The stakes could be high for Delmarva when it comes to the effects of climate change in the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the White House.

The Republican has declared climate change “a hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese.

On the peninsula great efforts have gone into plans for dealing with the loss of coastline.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the three states have serious vulnerable areas ranging from the wetlands along the Delaware Bay Shore and the Chesapeake Bay to Virginia’s coastal barrier islands.

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With the closing days of the presidential election coming next week, little has been said by the Democratic or Republican candidates about the health of the Chesapeake Bay. And climate change has barely come to the surface. John Lee prepared this report for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.

With the retirement of Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski this year another woman is vying for her seat. Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga is seeking to succeed the longest serving woman on Capitol Hill. But, she is up against Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen who has been a rising star in the House leadership. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at her candidacy. 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is telling state agencies to come up with specific ways Virginia can act to decrease carbon emissions from the state's power plants.

The governor signed an executive order Tuesday, saying Virginia's coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to rising sea levels.

Republican lawmakers and McAuliffe have been at odds over who should have the authority to implement the state's portion of President Barack Obama's proposed carbon emission rules.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia has set up a new revolving loan fund designed to help property owners prepare for rising sea levels.

But the Virginian-Pilot reports that the fund has no funds and may not have any money for several years.

Still, Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund supporters say the program puts Virginia at the forefront of preparing for ways to help homeowners and businesses with rising sea levels.

The General Assembly approved the fund earlier this year and Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the legislation into law.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A report says islanders in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay could be among the first "climate change refugees" in the continental United States.

The research published in the journal Scientific Reports says residents of steadily shrinking Tangier Island will have to abandon their fishing community in about 50 years amid rising seas.

The author is David Schulte, an oceanographer with the Army Corps of Engineers. He calls Tangier a "ground zero" for climate change in the U.S.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - On the first day Virginia state lawmakers can file bills for the 2016 General Assembly session, Republicans in the GOP-majority House of Delegates have introduced legislation focused on tolls inside the Washington beltway and the federal Clean Power Plan.

The party announced in a news release Monday that Republicans are seeking to ban tolls on Interstate 66 inside the District's beltway. The other second bill introduced would require the state to get approval from the legislature before implementing the Clean Power Plan.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website

Some of the Chesapeake Bay’s pristine wildlife refuges are drowning, casualties of erosion and the rising waters caused by climate change. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is using superstorm Sandy money and the latest science to restore and protect two of Maryland’s prized refuges.  Pamela D'Angelo reports.

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With the papal visit this week, Pope Francis has placed particular emphasis on climate change. Delmarva Public Radio's George Merrill writes that he is often puzzled by some of the sharp reactions from presidential candidates to the pope's message on the environment.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's administration is still reviewing the impact of President Barack Obama's plan to dramatically cut emissions from U.S. power plants, but Maryland Democrats already are praising the plan.

Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles, of Hogan's administration, says it takes time to review the fine print of 3,000 pages. He says the good news is Maryland is well-positioned to be a leader among states on its own terms and through regional collaboration.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Virginia Power is staking out a transitional energy generation plan, citing the uncertainty of new U.S. environmental rules.

Virginia's largest utility says its short-term energy plan entails a status quo formula of natural gas and some renewables.

For the first time Dominion did not file a long-term, or preferred, plan. Instead, it listed plausible long-term options that include utility-scale solar and nuclear, among others.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has voted to increase the responsibilities and scope of the state's Commission on Climate Change.

Senators voted 32-14 on Tuesday for the bill, with support and opposition for the legislation falling on Democratic and Republican party lines, respectively.

The bill puts into law the requirements of a 2014 executive order signed by then-Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Within the order is the expansion of the commission's membership, as well as the development of a plan for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Don Rush

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - A state panel is seeking public input on a report outlining how to prepare for and respond to potential climate change impacts in Delaware.

The Governor's Committee on Climate and Resiliency, which was charged by an executive order from Gov. Jack Markell, issued its report Monday and will accept public comment through May for possible revisions.

A University of Delaware professor who has testified on Capitol Hill as a climate change skeptic is now under scrutiny by an Arizona congressman.

Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva has asked for details on grants and support provided to those who have testified in Congress on the issue.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the University confirmed that David Legates is a tenured faculty member and provided the paper with policies for research but declined further comment.

There’s a new flood map out by the state of Delaware.

And, it finds things could be worse than expected.

This mapping project says that the 100 year storm flood level could be three feet higher than expected.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this would mean that places like the south end of Rehoboth Beach could be inundated with water within a hundred years.

The maps go far beyond those of the state’s sea level rise projections and those of Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The impact of climate change in Virginia will be the focus of a panel discussion sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Network.

The forum Monday in Richmond will feature a coal miner's daughter and activist from Wise County, a Norfolk resident and a staff attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Virginia's coast is among the most threatened in the U.S. by climate change and rising seas. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has revived a commission to blunt the impact of climate change along the coast and elsewhere.

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The U.S. Capitol Police say that four people were arrested yesterday at Senator Tom Carper’s Washington office where environmentalists were protesting his decision to support the Keystone XL pipeline in the Senate.

There were sit-ins at both the Delaware Democrat’s office and the office of another Democratic Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado.

Hayden Higgins a volunteer with the group of around 350 environmentalists told USA Today that they wanted to send a message that voting for the pipeline was a form of climate change denial.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Fifteen climate scientists from five Virginia universities are offering to help Gov. Terry McAuliffe develop the state's plan for meeting federal carbon reduction goals.

In a letter Monday, the scientists also told McAuliffe that Virginia is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change.

They offered to help the governor draft Virginia's response to the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which sets state-specific goals for carbon reductions from existing power plants.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Annapolis a national treasure.

The new designation announced Thursday is intended to help protect Maryland's historic capital from flooding and other weather-related events.

Stephanie Meeks, president of the privately funded organization, says local officials have created a national model for how cities can plan to minimize the negative effects of climate change on historic buildings. She says the coastal city faces a double threat of sinking land and rising water levels due to sea-level rise.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is casting the work of his climate change commission as an economic development mission.

McAuliffe addressed the Climate Change and Resiliency Commission on Wednesday as the 30-plus members were sworn in.

McAuliffe made it clear he has no doubts about climate change and said how Virginia deals with rising seas will be critical to the state's economic future.

The state's coastal region is considered among the most vulnerable places to rising seas.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe's climate change commission is gathering in Richmond for its inaugural meeting.

Created this summer, the Climate Change and Resiliency Commission will hear Wednesday afternoon from McAuliffe. The panel will also receive a report that outlines a number of recommendations aimed at sparing Virginia the full impact of rising seas.

The state's coastal region is especially vulnerable.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Chesapeake Climate Action Network has released a report detailing its recommendations for how Virginia should adapt to rising sea levels.

The group unveiled its recommendations on Wednesday in Norfolk, which routinely experiences flooding during even minor storms.

Among other things, the report calls for improved emergency planning coordination, the use of living shorelines and for a strategic retreat from vulnerable areas.

In Crisfield, local residents and businesses are still recovering from the devastation left by Superstorm Sandy last year. But with climate change and the resulting sea level rise, such devastation is not expected to be the last. Dr. Joe Casola with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions tells Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush that now is the time for communities on Delmarva to prepare.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $20 million grant over five years to a statewide research consortium in Delaware to study the impact of sea level rise and climate change.

Project Director Don Sparks with the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research told WDEL they will especially affect tourism and agriculture.

The grant money will not only go toward the study of renewable energy solutions but also for economic development that could lead to 160 jobs in the state.

Don Rush

With climate change comes more frequent and more intense storms many of whom have reached up into the Delmarva region.

Maryland News Connection reporter Allison Burns says the Obama administration is aiming to strengthen the response to power outages that cost as much as $35 billion a year nationally.


DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is in Washington, D.C., this weekend for a climate conference and meeting of the National Governors Association.

Markell was to give the keynote address Friday morning at a Georgetown Climate Center conference entitled "Promoting Low-Carbon Solutions and a Resilient Future Together."

The conference is aimed at exploring state and federal cooperation on climate and energy policy, sharing climate-related activities at the state and local levels, and finding opportunities for federal policy to support and strengthen those activities.

FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) - The University of Maryland is seeking volunteers for a coast-to-coast study of trees and climate change.

The university's Center for Environmental Science said Wednesday that the volunteers will monitor seasonal changes in poplar and aspen trees across the northern United States.

The National Science Foundation has given the center's Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg a $1.5 million grant to study climate adaptation in forest trees.

SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - Worcester County's planning director says it's too soon to say how a new climate change executive order will affect the county.

Worcester County planning director Ed Tudor says it certainly can't hurt, adding the state is already facing rising sea levels and sinking ground. Tudor told The Daily Times of Salisbury some projects could be affected, but he was waiting to see a Department of Natural Resources report called for in the order.

CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) - Teachers in Maryland and Delaware are getting help in teaching about climate change

The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it's giving $5.8 million to a partnership on climate change education led by the University of Maryland and the University of Delaware. The project is one of six such programs being funded by the foundation.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland Sen. Benjamin Cardin is scheduled to take part in a hearing on climate change.

The hearing in Washington on Wednesday is being held by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Cardin, a Democrat, says he will co-chair the second panel at the hearing. That panel will include Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources John Griffin.

Griffin is scheduled to talk about efforts that are needed and projects that are already underway to protect communities.