Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New New Amsterdam

Matt Yglesias looks at how rising sea levels will force nations to rethink coastal property:

The idea of essentially damning up New York Harbor sounds extreme, but that's equivalent to what the Dutch did with the Zuiderzee Works and especially the Delta Works projects undertaken after the 1953 flood. Some of the Dutch works are permanent dijks, but others are open sluices that merely shut when storms are coming to block surges. The idea is to in effect shorten your coastline which makes it easier to defend with high walls.

You could imagine something similar at the Arthur Kill and across the Verazano Narrows or even between Sandy Hook and Rockaway. Projects like that wouldn't immunize Staten Island or the beachfront parts of Brooklyn and Queens from storm surges but they would defend Lower Manhattan, the badly flooded Red Hook part of Brooklyn, Long Island City, LaGuardia Airport, and a big swathe of New Jersey.

Steve Clowney

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