Is Structural Mitigation the Answer for Protecting Boston Harbor?

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:

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/massachusetts/articles/2018-05-30/report-harbor-barrier-could-take-30-years-and-12b-to-build

 http://www.wbur.org/news/2018/05/30/boston-harbor-barrier-flooding-umass-study
 
https://www.statesman.com/news/report-boston-harbor-barrier-could-take-years-cost-12b/BSJIcj5ZkKy8Gdue3b6jYM/
 
www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-next-big-dig-umass-study-warns-boston-harbor-barrier-not-worth-cost-or-effort/ar-AAy0JNR
 
http://www.bostonherald.com/opinion/editorials/2018/05/editorial_costly_plans_wrong_way_to_solve_coastal_flooding
 
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/30/report-boston-harbor-barrier-could-take-30-years-cost-12b.html
 
http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/regional_news/report-boston-harbor-barrier-doesn-t-make-sense-to-prevent/article_20597391-5745-5a16-a5cc-875529c7f146.html
 
 

Climate Change Risk and Financial Ratings Not Connected

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

Scientific Reports on Sea Level Rise

At least one regular reader takes issue with this matter, but the Diva finds the scientific evidence compelling.

Coastal resilience:Accelerating sea level rise requires collaborative response

Recent estimates suggest that global mean sea level rise could exceed two meters by 2100. The projections pose a challenge for scientists and policymakers alike, requiring far-reaching decisions about coastal policies to be made based on rapidly evolving projections with large, persistent uncertainties. Policymakers and scientists must thus act quickly and collaboratively to help coastal areas better prepare for rising sea levels globally, say climate change experts.