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JAMESTOWN (AP) -- Rising sea levels are threatening the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America.

Jamestown Island lies 3 feet or less above the tidal James River. Projections indicate it will be underwater by 2100.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science marine geologist Carl Hobbs says Jamestown's future in 50 to 100 years is grim. Hobbs tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that lands that the colonists walked on aren't going to be there anymore.

Most of the 1,473-acre island lies within Colonial National Historical Park. Park natural-resource specialist Dorothy Geyer says the National Park Service is working to determine how to adapt.

Geyer says historic structures and artifacts aren't the only things that are at risk. She says the island also has a unique ecosystem.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

AP-WF-03-10-13 1640GMT

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