Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



A look at the geologic record of Chesapeake Bay shows a long and dynamic history - from the bolide (asteroid or comet) impact about 35 million years ago which formed the Chesapeake Bay impact crater, to the melting of glaciers beginning about 18,000 years ago, resulting in a continued rise of sea level and drowning of the Susquehanna River valley. Given that the rise in sea level has been occurring for thousands of years and is fundamental to the present formation of the Chesapeake Bay and our local tidal waters, why is there a recent heightened level of concern regarding this phenomenon? Concern is justified given that current and projected rates of sea level rise represent a significant increase over what we experienced during the last century. There is general consensus that rise in sea level will continue for centuries to come, and that human and natural communities within the Middle Peninsula will be vulnerable. Understanding the challenge is vital for local government to develop strategies to reduce the regions vulnerability to sea level rise.


doi: 10.25773/d9j4-4n85


Sea level rise