Rising Sea Levels and the Harriet Tubman Byway

A recent study by Climate Central points to the ways in which many of the Harriet Tubman sites along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in Maryland and Delware are under threat from climate change. Due to chronic flooding caused by sea level rise, the sites are in jeopardy of destruction. With the understanding that the historic significance of this area will be washed away, archaeologists have excavated and are in the process of excavating numerous sites including the discovery in April 2021 of Ben Ross's (Tubman's father) homestead in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

Climate Central, Land below 1.0 meters of water, Eastern Shore of Maryland, 2022 (A water level of 1.0 meters above the high tide line could be reached through combinations of sea level rise, tides, and storm surge.)

The exhibit includes the following sections:

  • a discussion of climate change impacts listed in the Climate Central report;

  • a consideration of the Surging Seas: Risk Finder that allows exploration of sea level and coastal flooding in Dorchester County, Maryland.

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Written by Renée Ater, July 2022; updated February 15, 2023