Sea level rise documentary premieres in Virginia Beach


VIRGINIA BEACH,  Va. (WAVY) — Environmental filmmaker James Balog sees Hampton Roads as essential for his new film on sea level rise, “The Human Element.”

“This lower part of Chesapeake Bay is ground zero for sea level rise on the East Coast of the United States. There’s more happening here than anywhere else.”

If you’ve ever wondered why Hampton Roads gets flooded like it was Wednesday morning — when we haven’t had major rainfall for days — just ask Balog. He says two forces are at work.

“As the seas are slowly coming up from melting glaciers in other parts of the world, this land is sinking, so those two things are happening simultaneously.”

Balog says our rate of sea level rise is about 5 millimeters, or one fifth of an inch, every year compared with the world average of 3 millimeters.

“The water comes from melting glaciers in other parts of the world.”

Balog’s film premiered locally Wednesday night. He and his crew shot at various locations, including Norfolk and Tangier Island. 

His previous work on environmental conditions includes a documentary on melting glaciers and photo shoots for National Geographic.

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