Coastal Tribes Deal with Sea Level Rise

About This Video: The Swinomish Tribe has lived on the coasts of the Salish Sea for thousands of years. Today, rising seas not only threaten cultural traditions, but also the economic vitality of this small island nation in the shadow of two oil refineries.

Sea level rise projections for Puget Sound range from very low (three inches by 2050) to very high (50 inches by 2100). Rising seas threaten to inundate up to 15 percent of low-lying Swinomish Reservation lands. Approximately 160 homes (worth over $83 million), 18 businesses (worth $19 million), critical roads and docks, areas of traditional tribal shellfish harvest, and sensitive cultural sites are all vulnerable to inundation. When sea level rise combines with more frequent and intense storms, a likely scenario in a warming world, the risks of damaging floods are even higher.

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