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Gazing into the future: What does 2043 have in store for Hampton Roads?

The waterways and shorelines that make up Hampton Roads harbor a historic reputation as ideal hosts for commerce, trade, shipbuilding, military installations and government research.

We know the past and present, but what about the future of Hampton Roads? We asked several regional leaders to give us their view for what the future has in store for the area 20 years from now.


Heavy rain causes flash flooding in Norfolk

Norfolk is among several local cities partnering with Waze to send flooding alerts to drivers. As 10 On Your Side has reported, sensors placed on 20 select roadways will send an alert to users, if the sensor detects at least two inches of water. The app is available in both the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. Once you’ve downloaded the app, go into your settings to select these alerts. The app will even help redirect you around the flooded areas.


Chesapeake Bay Foundation installs oyster reef base at living shoreline in Portsmouth

Chesapeake Bay Foundation volunteers installed over 100 bags of oyster shells on Friday along a living shoreline in Portsmouth.

The shells will attract new oysters, which will then develop a reef in the area. Once the reef is formed, it will help break up waves and prevent erosion to the shoreline.

The volunteers bagged recycled shells from local restaurants in the Hampton Roads area to use in the project. The foundation is part of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance, which looks for methods to improve oyster sectors.

RISE Press Release

RISE Announces Winners of $1.5M Flood Insurance of the Future Challenge

RISE today announced five winning small businesses in its $1.5 million Flood Insurance of the Future Challengea competition designed to source innovative solutions that reduce flood-related insurance premiums and payouts by 50%.

Each winner will receive up to $300,000 in funding to test and advance next-generation products in Hampton Roads, Virginia, until the end of 2023. Winners also get access to other resources in the RISE Innovation Hub and Testbed, such as a customized business accelerator through 757 Collab, co-working office and testing space, real-world pilot sites and introductions to regional municipalities and stakeholders.


Norfolk’s RISE announces businesses to test flood insurance solutions in Hampton Roads

The goal of the recent challenge, called Flood Insurance of the Future, is to cut insurance premiums and payouts in half, working with private insurers as well as the NFIP.

“There’s a gap in flood insurance,” RISE executive director Paul Robinson told WHRO last year. “The flood insurance programs that are generally available are not funded well enough to fully recover those homeowners or those property owners that are badly affected by flood.”

RISE has announced five winners of the challenge who will now pilot their solutions in Hampton Roads, which has the highest rate of sea level rise on the East Coast.


Flood insurance is a “hot mess.” That’s a growing problem for Hampton Roads homeowners.

Karen Speights’ flood insurance bill for her home in Norfolk’s Chesterfield Heights has risen almost every year in the last decade.

“That’s been a burden,” 64-year-old Speights said.

It’s why she signed onto a pilot project with a local startup to see what might reduce her home’s flooding risk. It’s been going on for more than a year while she lives elsewhere.

It was worth it, she said, so she could see big drops to her flood insurance premium.

Norfolk nonprofit RISE Resilience Innovations dedicated its most recent funding challenge to working with the industry and cutting total premiums and payouts in half.


iii Resilience Blog

Coastal Virginia Rises to Meet the Challenge of Sea-Level Rise

Coastal Virginia is emerging as a living laboratory for innovators interested in testing, validating, and demonstrating solutions to the growing problem of flooding.

Since 2018, the nonprofit RISE has deployed over $6 million to 35 companies through “Challenges” that bring coastal resilience entrepreneurs together to solve many of the problems urban and coastal communities are facing.


Norfolk nonprofit wants to change how we approach flood insurance

Hampton Roads has one of the highest rates of sea level rise and flooding risk on the East Coast.

One tool residents can use to protect themselves financially is through buying flood insurance. But there are many problems with the current system.

Norfolk’s RISE Resilience Innovations is hoping to help address them. The nonprofit gives out money to small groups to try out environmental solutions — using Hampton Roads as a testing ground.

Associated Press

Historic homes may prove to be more resilient against floods

Whenever historic homes get flooded, building contractors often feel compelled by government regulations to rip out the water-logged wood flooring, tear down the old plaster walls and install new, flood-resistant materials. But restorers Paige Pollard and Kerry Shackelford say they know something that science is yet to prove: historic building materials can often withstand repeated soakings.

Pollard and Shackelford’s joint venture in Virginia, the retrofit design firm Building Resilient Solutions, opened a lab this year in which planks of old-growth pine, oak and cedar are submerged into a tank mimicking flood conditions.


Raise or retreat? Home elevation aims to protect historic houses

FEMA has paid millions of dollars to raise more than 120 homes across Hampton Roads in the last decade, but industry expert John Sargent believes that’s not nearly enough to keep our region afloat.

That’s why Sargent brought the Home Raising Academy to Hampton Roads. The Home Raising Academy was funded by a $250,000 RISE resiliency grant.

The Washington Post

Backed-up pipes, stinky yards: Climate change is wrecking septic tanks

As climate change intensifies, septic failures are emerging as a vexing issue for local governments.

Lewie Lawrence, executive director of the Middle Peninsula Planning District, is looking for solutions, partnering with RISE, a Norfolk-based technology innovations accelerator, in a challenge to design septic systems that can be elevated much like HVAC systems.

Government Technology

Norfolk, Va., Offers Real-Time Flood Data to Drivers

Waze, a navigation app owned by Google, has partnered with Norfolk, Va., to pilot an app that will allow drivers to get real-time information about flooded roads. The alert system was set up Monday.

Waze is piloting the program with Norfolk. The forecasting technology comes from FloodMapp, a climate tech company funded by RISE Resilience Innovations, the Norfolk-based nonprofit that doles out money and resources to find solutions to environmental challenges.


At a Crossroads: Local program helps fund business solutions to climate change

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Norfolk $120 million to better protect its communities against natural disasters. Norfolk has used most of that money for infrastructure enhancements: building berms, raising walls and laying stormwater pipes. But the city also set aside about $5 million for RISE, a nonprofit that helps businesses grow as they create solutions to help address climate change.

The Virginian-Pilot

Rising seas, and rising profits

The very idea sounds backwards — usually frequent flooding from bigger and more destructive storms is costly. One study showed a direct hit could have cost the region $5 billion of its gross domestic product in just three months. But some are looking at the rising seas and sensing opportunity.


Local organization challenges teams to solve sea level rise

A local non-profit is challenging teams and entrepreneurs to come up with ways to solve sea level rise. Rise is a non-profit organization that focuses on solving resilience problems in coastal communities, including sea level rise, recurrent flooding and economic resilience.

RISE Press Release

RISE Announces Five Winners of the 2020 Coastal Community Resilience Challenges

RISE today announced five winners of the 2020 RISE Coastal Community Resilience Challenges. The winners are small businesses that will each receive up to $250,000 to advance and demonstrate cutting-edge products that help coastal communities adapt to the impacts of sea level rise and flooding. RISE will work with the five teams to pilot their approaches in a “living laboratory” environment across the Hampton Roads region in coastal Virginia, with the goal of building economically viable businesses and solutions that are scalable to other communities.