Walking the Floodplain to Protect Historic Portsmouth from Sea Level Rise

Kirsten Howard 

(cross-posted from The Great American Adaptation Road Trip: www.adaptationstories.com)


Portsmouth residents walk along low-lying streets in the South End.

With the road trip part of the Adaptation Stories project now complete, I’m walking along narrow brick lined streets through the Historic District of my new hometown: Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This quaint Atlantic Seacoast community was the third settled U.S. city, so the homes in the South End neighborhood are historic gems. Some played host to George Washington in the 1700s, while others housed factory workers in a more industrial era.

But the guided walking tour that I and 22 other Portsmouth residents are on isn’t only to appreciate the neighborhood. Rather, we’re walking to learn about how we, together with the city’s Coastal Resilience Initiative (CRI), can ensure these homes that are a key part of Portsmouth’s culturally rich and tourism-based economy don’t float away–or sink–as sea level rise and storm surges increase with climate change.

Read the rest of the story here.

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