Officials in towns along New Jersey's coastline are being urged to prepare for a future of rising sea levels.

Members of the Rutgers Earth and Planetary Sciences Department are telling county and municipal officials that we can expect a foot of sea level rise every 100 years and Geology Professor Ken Miller says it's expected to accelerate in the future.

Miller says "we've had about a foot in the past century and we're going two to three feet in this century. There will be more land loss. There will be more flooding. There will be more beach erosion."

The findings were presented during a recent workshop in Tuckerton where Municipal and County leaders where told about the importance of preparing for the effects of climate change and sea-level rise. Miller says the officials are taking the findings seriously.

Officials are being encouraged to incorporate the new realities imposed by climate change into future planning. "You have to plan for basically what was going to be a storm that had a re-occurrence interval of only 1 in 100 is now becoming maybe every 10 years instead of every 100 years."

He says for coastal communities "the most important thing perhaps is nourishing the beaches the first line of defense in maintaining an adequate dune."

The workshop was co-sponsored by Rutgers' Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Barnegat Bay Partnership and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Courtesy Rutgers