Norfolk sea level rise takes shine off waterfront homes

Soon after Mary-Carson and Josh Stiff got married last year, they began talking about buying a house.

Josh, 30, wanted to live in Norfolk to be near his law office. Mary-Carson, 28, wasn’t so sure. Sea level rise and the chronic flooding that plagues the city worried her.

“My concern was, it might not be a wise place to invest in general,” she said.

Her worry was grounded in her work. A consultant at the College of William & Mary Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic who now works part time as policy director for the local environmental group Wetlands Watch, Mary-Carson has been immersed in sea level rise policy work for months. She’s well-acquainted with the piles of studies, reports and charts that show Norfolk is one of the country’s most vulnerable cities.

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