Bill Prepares For One-Foot Sea Level Rise By 2050

 UPDATED 9:22 PM HST Jan 23, 2012
HONOLULU -

Rep. Cynthia Thielen has introduced a bill to require the state and counties to take into account a predicted sea level rise of one foot by 2050 when reviewing applications for development and future county plans.

Thielen says the rising seas pose a substantial threat to Hawaii's infrastructure and overall economy.

The Center For Island Climate Adaptation and Policy stated that Hawaii is expected to experience sea level rise of one foot by 2050.

Long term sea level rise has contributed to, and will continue to contribute to, ongoing coastal erosion, coastal flooding and drainage problems, according to Thielen.

"If Hawaii's Legislators and other governmental officials do not take steps to adapt to anticipated sea level rise, scientists predict increased sea levels will inundate our islands negatively impacting their infrastructures," explained Thielen. "For example, parts of the Honolulu airport could be inundated making those sections unusable, and thereby hurting our tourism industry."

The purpose of H.B. No. 2330 Relating To Climate Change is to require the State Office of Planning and the planning authority of each county in the State of Hawaii to take into account a predicted sea level rise of one foot by 2050 when reviewing present applications for development and future county plans.

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