Sea level rise in Washington

Washington’s 3,300 miles of coastal and marine waters play many vital roles. Coastal tourism and marine industries sustain coastal communities and fuel the regional economy. The state's coastal and marine waters also offer abundant recreation opportunities, provide a sense of place, and figure prominently in the traditions and culture of tribal communities. Washington’s coastal areas, however, are inherently vulnerable to the dynamic nature of coastal processes.
 
Shoreline in Washington showing high tides, debris on beach, and homes in the background.

Sea level rise data and information

We and Washington Sea Grant are leading a team of experts from public agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations on a three-year effort to rapidly increase the state’s capacity to prepare for natural events that threaten the coast.

The Washington Coastal Resilience Project will improve risk projections, provide better guidance for land use planners and strengthen capital investment programs for coastal restoration and infrastructure. These are the tools coastal communities need to become more resilient to disasters such as flooding, landslides, river channel migration, beach and bluff erosion, and sea level rise.
 
Through a smart combination of activities — investing in new science, coordinating existing programs and applying and sharing what is learned from three community models — Washington state can efficiently expand its capacity to “weather” future coastal hazards.


Sea level rise projections

 

This project provides an updated set of sea level rise projections that incorporates the latest science, provides community-scale projections, and is designed for direct application to risk management and planning.
 
Our new projections reflect the latest science on sea level rise and are an improvement over previous assessments. We recommend using these new projections for coastal impacts assessments within the state of Washington.