Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Chairman Ron Allen wrote a piece for the Peninsula Daily News about the tribe’s effort to prepare for climate change. The tribe underwent an extensive study recently to determine the tribal community’s vulnerability to risks such as sea level rise.
From the column:
The Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, with the help of Adaptation International, performed a climate change vulnerability study.
Through this project, we identified key areas of concern and possible adaptation strategies.
Sea-level rise is one of many important concerns.
We know that sea levels have been rising and will continue to rise in the future.
The tribal community can share anecdotes of the height of king tides over time, but it is important to focus on what is to come.
Relative sea-level rise (accounting for vertical, tectonic land movement) may increase by 2 feet before our grade-schoolers are 50 years old.
A relative rise of as much as 5 feet may occur by the end of this century.
Go to the shore and consider it: high tide plus 2 to 5 more feet of water.
And consider whether a storm event might damage infrastructure nearby.
The current shoreline cannot contain the projected level of seawater; it will spill over many shorelines onto the lowest land.
As a community, we’ll need to begin thinking about moving people and infrastructure, including roads, out of harm’s way.