When it comes to sea level rise, Norfolk is unfortunately one of the first cities in the country to begin seeing the measurable and menacing impact of this concerning new reality. Courtney sees the opportunity in these challenges, and has positioned our city as a leader in combating them.

While there’s no singular approach that will remedy or reverse the effects, we can take steps to ensure our beautiful waterfront and shorelines, the residences that line them, and the businesses and entities that are empowered by them, like the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and Port of Virginia are protected.

Examples of these steps include:

  • Constructing higher flood walls
  • Increasing the amount of living shoreline in different parts of the city
  • Taking evidence-based action against erosion on our beach

Courtney also wants to further Norfolk’s partnerships with our higher-education institutions, scientific community, private businesses, residents, and even with other cities that are working on flooding and sea-level rise to collaborate and innovate on creative solutions.

Some of Courtney’s accomplishments in this area include:

  • Moving forward on a couple of neighborhood projects where berms will be built to reduce nuisance tidal flooding. These projects will allow residents to access streets and sidewalks in front of their homes during nuisance flooding events, which occurs too often in our community.
  • Advocating for other major initiatives, including:
    • Constructing a higher flood wall in downtown to protect businesses, residences and parks.
    • Securing additional funding from the state and federal governments in support of major flood/sea-level rise needs in areas of the Hague, Lafayette River and seawalls throughout the community. Norfolk has received $250M from the new infrastructure bill to be used on advancing the work on the floodwall from downtown to Harbor Park.