A new report by a scientific advocacy group warns a rising ocean could have severe impacts at the U.S. Marines basic training base near Beaufort.
The Union of Concerned Scientists report released last month cautions the Parris Island training base is particularly vulnerable to flooding in the next 55 years if sea levels continue to rise at their expected pace. The island that serves as the basic training post for all male Marine recruits east of the Mississippi River and all female recruits nationwide is flat, marshy and no more than 20 feet above sea level at its highest point.
The organization has been pushing Republicans in Congress to allow the Pentagon to study the potential impact of “climate change” on American military operations. Congressional Republicans, many of whom believe worries about climate change are exaggerated or unnecessary, argue Defense Department resources should be focused on national security. A vote that blocked the Pentagon from acting on the plan passed the House 216-205 in June.
The report examined 18 military bases along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to calculate the potential impact from hurricanes, strong tides, and typical erosion through 2050, 2070 and 2100. “The results were dire for Parris Island,” lead analyst Kristy Dahl told South Carolina Radio Network. “It stands to lose somewhere between 45 and 85 percent of its land by the end of the century, depending on how last the sea level rises.” [Read more…]