The Environmental Protection Agency said rising sea levels on the mid-Atlantic Coast could eventually threaten coastal communities. From New York to North Carolina, coastal waters have risen an average of 2.4 millimeters to 4.4 millimeters per year, higher than the average global increase of 1.7 millimeters per year. Higher sea levels, which scientists attribute to global warming, present a greater risk of flooding for coastal communities and could also slow the transportation of goods.

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