Late October 058
Sunset over Pamlico Sound. Photo by C. Leinbach

The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel has released for public review and comment a draft of the five-year update of its 2010 report on sea level rise in North Carolina.

Required by Session Law 2012-202, the draft report provides estimated rates of sea level rise along the North Carolina coast over the next 30 years. The report relies on data collected at five tide gauges located along the North Carolina coast at Duck, Oregon Inlet, Beaufort, Wilmington and Southport.

According to the report, historical data shows that sea level is rising across the entire coast of North Carolina. The data also indicate that the rate of rise varies depending on location, with the highest rates occurring on the northern coast, primarily due to greater rates of land subsidence, or sinking.

The panel’s initial draft report was completed in December 2014 and forwarded to a technical peer review group for comment. The draft report and all comments are available for review on the N.C. Division of Coastal Management’s website at

Comments may be submitted via email to Tancred Miller, DCM’s coastal and ocean policy manager, at After an extended public comment period from today through Dec. 31, the report will be finalized in early 2016 and delivered to the N.C. General Assembly by March 1.

The science panel provides scientific advice to the state Coastal Resources Commission. It was created by the CRC in 1997, and is composed of coastal engineers and geologists.

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