In an effort to raise environmental awareness, Quincy’s Department of Planning and Community Development will sponsor a workshop on May 23 to discuss how the South Shore community might be impacted by climate change.
Hosted at the Thomas Crane Public Library from noon to 2 p.m., the presentation will discuss scientists' predictions and their implications.
Although the details of the matter are complicated, presenters already have a grim view of the future.
“Over the next one hundred years, scientists predict that the sea level will rise as much as five feet. This, [coupled] with a one hundred year storm, could cause the sea level to be more than ten feet higher than today’s average,” a press release for the event said.
The effects of such an occurrence would be devastating for Quincy, especially considering the real estate and infrastructure on the waterfront, experts said.
Furthermore, more than one percent of the country’s population lives within one meter of today’s average sea level.
“Even on a normal day with a mid-level sea level rise prediction, several million people would be affected,” the release said.
Such consequences are being studied in San Diego, and experts Ellen Douglas and Chris Watson have started taking a hard look at sea level rise in the Boston area.
Douglas, an assistant professor of hydrology at University of Massachusetts, Boston, utilizes computer modeling and data analysis to define and support sustainable management policies and practices related to climate change.
Watson, a research assistant for UMass-Boston, has been studying coastal and marine spatial analysis, with a current research focus on sea level rise and modeling of costal flooding and inundation.
The pair was engaged by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study sea level rise, which resulted in a regional forum in November 2010.
Quincy Community and Development personnel have since tapped the duo to map sea level rise along Quincy’s 27 miles of shoreline.
Wednesday's event will feature a presentation by Watson and Douglas about their findings. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period with Quincy architect Stephen Wessling, civil engineer George Preble, and environmental planner Julie Conroy, who are all dealing with sea level rise in different ways.
Community and Planning Development staffers also hope to produce another presentation on sea level rise, possibly in collaboration with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to have a more regional focus.
For more information on the presentation and climate change, click here.