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Executive order aims to protect Virginia’s coastal areas

FILE — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks at the Chesapeake Executive Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed an executive order aimed at boosting the state’s ability to deal with rising sea levels and natural disasters.

Northam signed an order Friday that, among other things, mandates the creation of a “Coastal Resilience Master Plan” to protect the state’s coastal areas.

Northam said the wide-ranging order is needed in part because extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense.

Scientific studies have projected that parts of coastal Virginia will face chronic flooding if nothing is done about sea-level rise. Hampton Roads, home to the country’s largest naval base, is threatened by the combination of sinking land and rising seas.

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