Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is touring Jamestown and says it's clear that rising seas are taking a toll on America's first permanent European settlement.

Jewell trekked and bused her way Thursday through the 1,600-acre island in Virginia's Tidewater region. Guided by National Park Service rangers, Jewell saw sections of the island that now lie beneath the James River and heard of the devastation in 2003, when Hurricane Isabel raked the low-lying landscape.

In an interview with The Associated Press between stops, Jewell called Jamestown a "hot spot" for climate change.

She says climate change is threatening to wash away the nation's history here.

Jamestown was founded in 1607.

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Steve Szkotak can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sszkotakap