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Rising sea levels endangered historic sites on the Eastern Shore

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Rising sea levels threaten sites along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, including Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Judy Gallagher/Flickr Creative Commons

As the climate warms, will the places where Harriet Tubman and her family lived and worshiped survive rising sea levels?

A report by the nonprofit Climate Central maps the risk of flooding along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in Dorchester County.

We speak with one of the report’s authors, Kelly Van Baalen, and local guide Alex Green, who operates Harriet Tubman Tours.

Then, Julie Schablitsky, chief archaeologist at the state Department of Transportation, describes discovering the site where Tubman’s father lived. Schablitsky says the location is under siege, "If we step away overnight and come back the next morning, we have an inundated hole. That level of water is rising up into excavation units, stopping us from being able to recover scientifically this information."

Listen to more about Ben Ross' home-site in this Midday interview.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.