Boston harbor brings ashore a new enemy: Rising seas: Facing climate change, Boston must gird itself for an era of rising water — or be inundated
The sea that surrounds Boston crept up nine inches in the 20th century and is advancing ever faster toward the heart of the city.
And as climate change accelerates, the pace of sea-level rise in Boston is expected to triple, adding eight inches over 2000 levels by 2030, according to a report commissioned by the city. The ocean might climb as much as three feet above 2013 levels by 2070, the report said.
From the NYTimes: With More Storms and Rising Seas, Which U.S. Cities Should Be Saved First?
As disaster costs keep rising nationwide, a troubling new debate has become urgent: If there’s not enough money to protect every coastal community from the effects of human-caused global warming, how should we decide which ones to save first?
Seas may be rising faster than thought. A new Tulane University study questions the reliability of how sea-level rise in low-lying coastal areas such as southern Louisiana is measured and suggests that the current method underestimates the severity of the problem.
‘Living With Water’: Cities Facing Climate Change Trade Sea Walls for Parks
To protect itself from a devastating flood, Boston was considering building a massive sea wall, cutting north to south through nearly 4 miles of Boston Harbor, taking $11 billion and at least 30 years to build. But a new plan unveiled in October represents a 180-degree turn: Instead of fighting to keep the water out, the city is letting it come in.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, a Democrat, announced the city would be scrapping the idea of a sea wall in favor of, among other things, a system of waterfront parks and elevation of some flood-prone areas. The city will add 67 new acres of green space along the water and restore 122 tidal acres.
From the HomeSecurityNewswire: Coastal Peril. Sea level rise and coastal development: Science speaks directly to business.
If you are an investor or a developer with an interest in coastal properties, you are being bombarded with evidence of climate change in the form of sea level rise and its consequences. In the academic community, many interested in the business of coastal development have begun to take into account information from climate scientists and have expressed frustration that government regulators are not doing so.
The Diva was watching Nightly Business News on May 30th and was especially interested in a feature they did about potential flooding in Boston harbor and its effects on current and planned real estate development in that area. [Personal note: the Diva is from the Boston area and her dad owned a store in the harbor area.]
I was told by a Boston-based friend that recently there has been extensive news coverage regarding a proposed flood barrier costing over $12 billion dollars, which will not be fully completed until 2050. That is a long time to wait, and one can only wonder if a barrier will in fact solve the Boston Harbor inundation problem due to sea level rise.
I was told that Boston’s 2015 Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan did not include the proposed flood barrier, but preferred natural shoreline solutions which are much less expensive to implement on a quicker timeline.
For those interested in the Boston mitigation situation, which is probably a bellweather for other major eastern coastal cities, here are several news articles:
From Yankee magazine, this account of the effects of rising seas on the New England Coast: Rising Seas | New England Climate Change. New England was built upon the coast. Its fate will depend upon how well we adapt to a future that can no longer be ignored. How rising seas are changing the New England coastline.
Sea Level Rise Is Creeping into Coastal Cities. Saving Them Won’t Be Cheap.
Norfolk and Miami frequently see nuisance flooding now. The cost to protect them and other coastal cities in the future is rising with the tide.
Sobering account of the growing problem and the huge costs. Left untreated the problem will require triage.
New Orleans mayor: US climate change policy cannot wait for Trump. Mitch Landrieu says cities will lead as federal government is ‘paralysed’ NYC’s de Blasio backs push as Miami Beach shows anti-sea rise work
From Bloomberg News, this rather startling article: Rising Seas May Wipe Out These Jersey Towns, but They’re Still Rated AAA
Few parts of the U.S. are as exposed to the threats from climate change as Ocean County, New Jersey. It was here in Seaside Heights that Hurricane Sandy flooded an oceanfront amusement park, leaving an inundated roller coaster as an iconic image of rising sea levels. Scientists say more floods and stronger hurricanes are likely as the planet warms.
Yet last summer, when Ocean County wanted to sell $31 million in bonds maturing over 20 years, neither of its two rating companies, Moody’s Investors Service or S&P Global Ratings, asked any questions about the expected