CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — With Virginia's coastal areas especially susceptible to climate change, a University of Virginia institute is assisting residents and decision-makers with long-range planning.

The help is coming from U.Va.'s Institute for Environmental Negotiation. Starting in March 2011, the institute established partnerships with the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, the city of Virginia Beach and others to share their experiences of sea-level rise and ideas to deal with its consequences.

According to the institute, Virginia Beach's land mass could shrink by 45,000 acres over the next century as sea levels rise 2 to 5 feet or more. The rising sea levels would also affect Norfolk, the Tidewater area and the Eastern Shore.

The institute has met with Hampton Roads officials and is developing recommendations for action.