Jobs at Risk: Sea Level Rise, Coastal Flooding, and Local Economies
This study assesses the exposure of local economies to tidal flooding in the Chesapeake Bay region, finding that nearly 50% more jobs will be exposed to 100-year flooding in 2050.
Coastal regions are economically important but also susceptible to sea level rise and flooding. This study assesses the exposure of local economies to tidal flooding in the Chesapeake Bay region using geolocated businesses and employment data. Our results show that approximately 263,500 jobs and $11.1 billion in wage income will be exposed to 100-year flooding by 2050, which is almost 50% higher compared to current conditions due to sea level rise. Several jurisdictions are exposure hotspots with a much higher number or share of jobs and wage income subject to flood risk. We also identify 44 census tracts that have both high flood exposure and high population vulnerability. Our results highlight the need for better coordination between state economic development and climate resilience policies to address the growing challenges of climate change in coastal regions.
Yanjun (Penny) Liao
Yanjun (Penny) Liao is an economist and Fellow at Resources for the Future. Her current research focuses on issues of natural disaster risk management and climate adaptation.
Senior Research Analyst
Sophie Pesek is a research analyst for the Climate Risks and Impacts and Adaptation and Resilience programs at RFF.
Margaret A. Walls
Margaret Walls is a senior fellow at RFF. Her current research focuses on issues related to resilience and adaptation to extreme events, ecosystem services, and conservation, parks and public lands.
Resources Magazine — Oct 4, 2023
As Sea Levels Rise, So Does Wastewater
Sea level rise poses a threat for waste disposal infrastructure. In houses with septic systems, rising wastewater can cause unhygienic overflows and system failures. More funding and community involvement can help address this expensive, growing problem.
Common Resources — Sep 27, 2023
Financing Investments in Climate Resilience: A New Approach
A new federal loan program provides support for projects that improve the resilience of communities in dealing with the effects of climate change.
Resources Radio — Sep 26, 2023
Learning How to Mitigate Heat in Schools, with V. Kelly Turner
V. Kelly Turner discusses the impacts of heat on students in US schools, design choices that can mitigate heat on school grounds, and funding sources for improving school infrastructure.