Cinema Art Theater to screen documentary on sea level rise Oct. 17

October 15, 2017

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society Cinema Art Theater will present a special one-time screening at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17, of “Tidewater,” a sobering but hopeful documentary about sea level rise in Hampton Roads, Va., and the community's coordinated effort to combat it. The approach may be a solution that can be used in other communities with similar challenges.

The Hampton Roads area of Virginia is relatively unknown nationwide, but it is the region whose vulnerability to sea level rise most affects military readiness and overall U.S. national security. With 14 military installations spread across 17 local jurisdictions, it is the highest concentration of U.S. military assets in the country, where 1 in 6 residents are associated with the nation's defense. Their homes, schools, hospitals, and families are increasingly struggling to keep up with the effects of rising waters, and the military and all the surrounding municipalities are working toward solutions in the name of strengthening national security and enhancing economic prosperity.

If Hampton Roads succeeds, it will mean success on several levels. They'll save their homes, schools, businesses, the bases, and that's no mean feat. But they'll also create a powerful template for success, a model other regions can use to prepare for and deal with disaster - and more: a model that can demonstrate how people, businesses and government can pull together to solve any complex problem. The story strikes a positive tone, highlighting the outsized capabilities of Hampton Roads to show the nation and the world how it can be done. Lots of hard choices and sacrifices will have to be made in order for the plan to succeed, but if they get it right, human communities everywhere will have a roadmap.

A post-screening Q&A will take place with the following panel of guests: Dr. Chris Sommerfield, professor of oceanography at the University of Delaware; Danielle Swallow, program manager, Resilient Community Partnership, DNREC; and Judy G. Rolfe, filmmaker and “Tidewater” assistant producer.

Tickets can be purchased online or, if seating is available, at the Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive behind the Lewes Wawa starting 30 minutes prior to the screening. Admission is $6 per ticket.

The mission of the RBFS is promoting cinematic arts, and providing education and cultural enrichment for the community. The society sponsors ongoing screenings, special events, and the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival (Nov. 2-12). The society is funded, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The division promotes Delaware arts events on For more information on this series, other events, or to become a member, visit, or call 302-645-9095.

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