02/19/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Middle Atlantic States Threatened By Sea Level Rise

Sea level rise fueled by global warming threatens the barrier islands and coastal wetlands of the Middle Atlantic States, a federal report warned on Friday.

The report, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Geological Survey and other agencies, is one of a series examining the potential effects of a rising sea level on the nation's coasts.

The rise in sea level is accelerating, the report said, because warmer water occupies more space and because of runoff from melting inland glaciers and ice sheets. The Middle Atlantic States are particularly vulnerable because the rates of rise are "moderately high" there, the region is subject to storms, it is densely populated and much of its infrastructure is in low-lying areas.

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