By Mike DeNardo

MARGATE, N.J. (CBS) — South Jersey shore towns are continuing to figure out how to protect their homes and beaches, as scientists predict a long-term rise in sea levels.

The effects of global warming could cause sea levels to rise four feet in the next 100 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.   If you look at an online tool from the research group Climate Central, a projected four-foot rise in sea levels over the next century would put half of the houses in Margate, NJ underwater.

Some scoff at global warming, but Margate mayor Mike Becker (photo) is heeding the warnings.

“I do believe that the water level is rising. Maybe not as drastic as they say, but I do believe it is rising,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

After Hurricane Sandy, he says, his town raised the minimum elevation for first-floor living space with rising tides in mind.

“It’s taken into consideration as part of the puzzle,” Becker says.  “We’ve already raised the elevation that is required. We’re now at 12 (feet above sea level). It was originally at ten.”

And on Tuesday, Margate voters will decide whether to build a dune system to protect the beachfront.

Becker recalled speaking with one voter about the proposed dune project:

“We were talking about his position on the dunes.  He says he doesn’t want to have his grandchildren or great-grandchildren look back and think that we made the wrong decision. So it is part of the decision, absolutely.”



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