Rising tide waters subject of documentary

Union Leader Correspondent
August 07. 2017 11:24PM
"Tidewater" director Roger Sorkin talks with the audience at the New Hampshire premiere of his documentary on rising sea levels. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

GREENLAND — Seacoast community members filled the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center Monday night for the New Hampshire premiere of the documentary “Tidewater” by director Roger Sorkin.

The 43-minute film focuses on the effects of rising tidal waters in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, where residents, businesses and members of the military are struggling with the realities of rising sea levels. The area is the home to the largest Naval base in the world.

The film hits home because there are concerns about the effects of rising water on Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

According to predictions released last summer by the Union of Concerned Scientists, more than a quarter of the shipyard’s land area, including places key to operations, will become part of the tidal zone within the century under a worst-case scenario.

At the same time, residents and business owners in Hampton and Seabrook report that during King Tides, they see flooding on a regular basis.

Prior to the premiere, Sorkin urged members of the audience to talk about the issue of climate change with family and friends, even if they have differing viewpoints.

“We’ll still have a lot of really great political fights to have, around all kinds of things, the role of government, etc., but when it comes to our environmental security I think that’s something we all can realize... our physical environment is something that doesn’t care about how we feel, or what our views are,” Sorkin said.

Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter, D-NH, says she hopes they can show “Tidewater” to members of the armed services committee.

“We know this is not a partisan issue. This is something that all of us that have grown up in New Hampshire, or indeed anywhere, and love our coastline and have observed it for years, have seen the changes there,” Shea Porter said.

Roger Stephenson, who is the Stratham representative on the state’s Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission, said he was pleased to see the “terrific turnout.” After the film ended, Stephenson and Sorkin joined state senator David Watters, D-Dover, and a Maine state representative for an audience-led discussion on the issues.

For more information on the documentary, go to www.amresproject.org.

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