Recent news about climate change reveals big issues facing the Eastern Shore: a shrinking shoreline, more and bigger storms, and more salinity in our lands and farms. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Chesapeake Bay will rise two feet by 2050. Every person in the region will be affected in some way with Dorchester County especially vulnerable with submersion of region-defining landmarks such as the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and sites along the newly minted Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument.
The sea is coming, and news isn't good so, what now?
The Eastern Shore has faced adversity before. Our history is thick with challenges, which more recently include battles over development, shifting agriculture and traffic clogging our roadways. Through all this, a fierce combination of ingenuity, regional identity, independence and perhaps out-and-out stubbornness has kept the Eastern Shore together as a region and as a place we are still proud to call home.
Sea level rise is just one important trend to consider. Our demographics, development patterns, and economic activity also are forecasted to shift greatly. The Eastern Shore of tomorrow likely will look very different from the one we live in today.