A government report warns that America’s coastline will see sea level rise in the next 30 years by nearly as much as they did in the 20th century, hitting the Texas coast especially hard. More than that, scientists predict that by 2060 almost 25 inches of sea level rise in Galveston. This is a dramatic scenario, as the city is already vulnerable to hurricane storm surges, tidal flooding, and maritime accidents. According to the maritime attorneys serving Houston, the consequences of sea level rise will be enormous and continue to compound over the long term.
Texas’s Sea Level Is Rising and May Cost over $12 Billion
The entire Texas Gulf coast is at risk of rising sea levels. Still, the Houston-Galveston region is incredibly vulnerable due to high shoreline erosion rates, hurricane strikes, land-surface subsidence, and low-lying topography. Some coastal communities have already developed plans for dealing with coastal hazards, which can be used to protect against the hazards related to sea level rise.
The increase in sea level is primarily due to the sinking land and pumping of large volumes of groundwater from deep in the earth, causing severe issues. As the level rises, existing coastal flooding is more severe, eroding beaches and submerging dry land and wetlands. As such, the state is planning over $12 billion in sea level rise solutions.
In Galveston, the sea level has risen by 18 inches since 1950, and its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years, rising by nearly 1 inch annually. However, the sea level rise is not only causing damage or threatening the coastal regions but also poses challenges to the law of the sea. In fact, it is expected to see a massive increase in maritime accident claims.
Sea Level Rise Legal Implications
Island states can use a range of policy and legal policies to protect their maritime entitlements. However, addressing sea level rise impacts also requires reexamining current international maritime laws. A significant one is how measurements that determine territorial rights and resources are assessed.
According to the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, two different interpretations can determine the baseline of a country or state’s territory. One would fix these measurements, while the other would shift as coastlines shifs, changing as sea levels rise. Such issues can play a critical role in determining a state’s maritime claims and borders, ultimately determining a state’s survival.
If you experience any injuries or losses due to sea level rise-related accidents, a law firm in Houston can address the legal issues that stem from sea level rise. At the same time, local governments realize the significant impact of sea level rise and try to combat it by creating resiliency task forces and taking action to revise land use planning and upgrade their stormwater infrastructure. However, there may be more than these at times. If you are looking to mitigate damages from sea level rise, seeking help from a Houston maritime attorney is advisable. Houston maritime attorney