Annapolis is one of the cities being considered to house a nonprofit organization that studies rising sea levels and its effects.
The International Sea Level Institute is a recently formed nonprofit that works with the private sector, government and scientific communities to understand and plan for rising sea levels and shifting shorelines.
The institute is searching for a city to house its headquarters. Annapolis is one of its options.
John Englander, the institute's executive director, will host a private meeting for the local business community on Wednesday to explain the organization's work and the impact it could have on the city. He will also give a presentation Tuesday evening at the Annapolis Yacht Club for members and guests.
Englander is an oceanographer, consultant and the author of "High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis." He gave a lecture at St. John's College in January about rising sea levels.
He believes waterfront cities like Annapolis should embrace "intelligent adaptation," such as building sea walls and raising building heights, to prepare for inevitable sea level rise. He has visited Annapolis five times in the last six months and has seen a growing awareness and concern about sea levels.
"I'm getting a lot of encouragement to base (the institute) here because of the pressing issue of flooding and historic preservation," he said.
Mayor Mike Pantelides previously said combating flooding is a priority. He has requested $1 million from the state for flood mitigation, but even if approved, it could take up to eight years to implement. The city has a Historic Preservation Tax Credit of 25 percent for expenses related to preservation, restoration and rehabilitation.
At Wednesday's meeting, Englander hopes to develop a base of support from local businesses. Raising money from businesses would allow the institute to remain "flexible and independent" from grants, he said.
San Francisco, Miami and Rhode Island are some of the other areas being considered to house the institute. The institute would like to have the base location up and running this year, he said.