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New York To Gain New Protection From Rising Sea Levels

Chris Bolt

August 25, 2021
New York To Gain New Protection From Rising Sea Levels

Ever since Hurricane Sandy a few years ago, the people of Manhattan have had a stark reminder of what storms and rising sea levels will mean for this low-lying part of the city. 

But construction is now underway to create seawalls and floodgates in a $20 billion project to future proof the city from the effects of climate change. 

One part of this project has the goal of protecting 2.4 miles of lower Manhattan, which is home to over 110,000 people. The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project alone will cost almost $1.5 billion and has a very ambitious goal of creating berms, seawalls, and floodgates.

Inside Climate News has reported some details about the damage Sandy caused. 

Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast of the United States in October 2012. New York City suffered $19 billion in damage. The areas most affected in New York City were Staten Island and the waterfronts of Brooklyn, Queens and Lower Manhattan, which were inundated by as much as five feet of water.


Brahmjot Kaur, Environmental Justice Fellow, Inside Climate News

“Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast of the United States in October 2012. New York City suffered $19 billion in damage. The areas most affected in New York City were Staten Island and the waterfronts of Brooklyn, Queens and Lower Manhattan, which were inundated by as much as five feet of water.”

When you consider numbers like that, then it certainly puts this $20 billion project into perspective and how even such a huge project could pay off after just one similar storm. 

While there might be many questions to answer about how viable it will be to raise the East River Park 10 feet further above the water level, this is a move in the right direction to deal with the inevitable.


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