New York is building a wall to hold back the ocean

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  • Published: 10 June 2019
  • Climate change is leading to increasingly violent storms. Can seawalls hold back floods?

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    Staten Island recently received funding for a nearly 5-mile-long seawall to protect its coast. But the plan raises a lot of questions. We’re living in a dangerously dynamic world: Hurricanes are getting worse, wildfires are rampant in California, extreme heat is melting roads in India, and sea levels continue to rise. Will a wall really be enough to protect our coastal cities?

    Alissa Walker from Curbed talked to us about how it’s too late to stop the changing climate, but not too late to change how we think about infrastructure.

    Check out some further reading from our sister site, Curbed.com:

    curbed.com/2017/2/15/14616928/trump-nasa-climate-change-california
    ny.curbed.com/2019/4/25/18515213/staten-island-usace-seawall-climate-change-photo-essay

    For more research and climate-related content:
    c2es.org/content/hurricanes-and-climate-change/
    climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/
    reuters.com/article/us-japan-disaster-seawalls/seven-years-after-tsunami-japanese-live-uneasily-with-seawalls-idUSKCN1GL0DK

    And for more on seawalls:
    scientificamerican.com/article/after-a-14-billion-upgrade-new-orleans-levees-are-sinking/
    news.mongabay.com/2018/06/on-indias-kerala-coast-a-man-made-solution-exacerbates-a-natural-problem/

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Comments • 3 028

  • Vox
    Vox   3 months back

    This piece was a collaboration with our sister-site, Curbed! Check out the original article here: https://ny.curbed.com/2019/4/25/18515213/staten-island-usace-seawall-climate-change-photo-essay


    And for more information on how to build a resilient city check out Alissa Walker’s piece https://www.curbed.com/2017/2/15/14616928/trump-nasa-climate-change-california


    - Kim

    • MICHGO1
      MICHGO1  3 weeks back

      YOUR SISTER SITE IS BEING TAKEN OVER BY SPAM IN THE COMMENTS AND NO ONE THERE SEEMS TO CARE.

    • LONNIE DOBBINS
      LONNIE DOBBINS  3 months back

      @BLAIR M Schirmer
      Thank you!
      I wanted to read the comments and find someone that's actually thinking what all of this means.
      They're talking of building a wall around Staten Island Only. *What About The City?*
      What are they going to do for it?
      *Walls Are Impossible All Over The City!*
      They can raise homes up higher but not skyscrapers!
      Right now we need TOTAL Suspension Of All Emissions Just To Keep It From Being Worse. It's to late to stop it now.
      They need to think about moving.

  • Stephen Murphy
    Stephen Murphy  6 hours back

    That's so racist building a wall too keep the ocean's out. I kinda like Billy Ocean..

    • Jamie Wells
      Jamie Wells  6 hours back

      Are we making the ocean pay for it?

      • Secret EyeSpot
        Secret EyeSpot  12 hours back

        what if we made it out of trash/debris?

        • Tony Chalmers
          Tony Chalmers  12 hours back

          Show me where the sea level as changed. it's a lie and there is no Global warming or climate change. There as always been bad weather. Stop building right near the sea. Anyone with brains would tell you this is a very bad idea. And the more damage is the increase of population and more buildings. just move away from the coast.

          • rum and coke32
            rum and coke32  3 days back

            Building a wall to keep the water is....waterist!

            • Tim J
              Tim J  4 days back

              *I thought walls didn't work* 😆

              • snake pliskin2.0
                snake pliskin2.0  5 days back

                Let the seas reclaim New York and California the US would be a better place

                • KJ is the w0rst
                  KJ is the w0rst  5 days back

                  So this walls gud tho

                  • qwertyappleshock
                    qwertyappleshock  6 days back

                    Hurricanes? Typhoons?

                    FILIPINOS: Hold my San Miguel Beer.. 💪

                    No question, the Filipino's resilience is legendary.. ❤️🇵🇭

                    • Francisco Machado
                      Francisco Machado  7 days back

                      I came from a island and believe me you don't need a wall you need to move those person's away because if the sea is coming there is nothing a human can build to prevent, yes you can delay but is going to be irrelevant, the planet is here sense thousands of years he have time.

                      • Robin Brooke
                        Robin Brooke  1 weeks back

                        The only way to make sure your sea defences will definitely work is to get Dutch people to build it

                        • Yasin Hasan
                          Yasin Hasan  1 weeks back

                          ocean making problems? just bomb the ocean: US style

                          • Beau Biker
                            Beau Biker  1 weeks back

                            Nature's way of getting rid of liberals.

                            • bjorn joseph
                              bjorn joseph  1 weeks back

                              It's to keep out illegal water

                              • CT & MTA Railfan
                                CT & MTA Railfan  1 weeks back

                                0:21 Staten Island is not a small borough. It is one of the largest boroughs in terms of land. Manhattan is the smallest borough in NYC in terms of land, but it is the largest in terms of population density.

                                • Carys Williams
                                  Carys Williams  1 weeks back

                                  I go to ny harbor school

                                  • Sofía
                                    Sofía  1 weeks back

                                    Everyone: how about we work together to try to solve climate change and avoid the end of the world

                                    America: Nah that’ll never work... walls on the other hand

                                    • Sofía
                                      Sofía  1 weeks back

                                      America will do anything to avoid addressing climate change

                                      • Donald J. Trump
                                        Donald J. Trump  2 weeks back

                                        I am going to build a great wall of New York's southern border, and I will make Bikini Bottom pay for it.

                                        • Friend of Tellus
                                          Friend of Tellus  2 weeks back

                                          Great idea !

                                          • John Spinelli
                                            John Spinelli  2 weeks back

                                            Why dont we just take New York and push it somewhere else?

                                            • Ankit Sonu
                                              Ankit Sonu  2 weeks back

                                              New York's solution is Similar to Trump's 😂😂

                                              • Khushal Paherwar
                                                Khushal Paherwar  2 weeks back

                                                This is just gonna be another Jakarta situation

                                                • livia
                                                  livia  2 weeks back

                                                  fun fact: when the dutch controlled nyc and was new amsterdam, wall street was an actual wall

                                                  • pauline palmer
                                                    pauline palmer  2 weeks back

                                                    I thought walls are bad.

                                                    • Tazmanian Devil
                                                      Tazmanian Devil  3 weeks back

                                                      I worked in Staten Island on the aftermath of hurricane Sandy! I was with the army corps of engineers removing the debris! And my humble opinion is that it could be also considered to do like the way Japan used in there coastline when typhoons hit their land! I can't remember the proper mame of it but i called them cement starts! There are gigantic in size and weight tons! They could be put across the shore line to at least minimise the waves before they impact the shore! Is just a thought!

                                                      • The King
                                                        The King  3 weeks back

                                                        Building a wall to protect us citizens? Thats racist.

                                                        • Edwin Cintron
                                                          Edwin Cintron  3 weeks back

                                                          😂🤣😂😁That's too hilarious.. I'm dying laughing lol... greatest comment here

                                                      • Jame Brooke
                                                        Jame Brooke  3 weeks back

                                                        What? NEW YORKERS for WALLS?? RACIST!

                                                        • Yogshaye Ramhota
                                                          Yogshaye Ramhota  3 weeks back

                                                          Nothing can defy the force of nature so why build a wall

                                                          • Climate Satyagraha : The Power of Truth

                                                            This is really sad. For every city that can afford to build a wall, there are alteast 10 which can't.
                                                            But the one which can afford to is the one which is mostly responsible for the sea level rise.
                                                            Stop this before its too late.

                                                            • Blatio1
                                                              Blatio1  4 weeks back

                                                              Well NY'rs, per your logic, that makes you racist against the ocean.

                                                              • Dota Game
                                                                Dota Game  4 weeks back

                                                                Just drink the water lol..

                                                                • Leia Jiang
                                                                  Leia Jiang  4 weeks back

                                                                  And then one day it's gonna not work

                                                                  • Leia Jiang
                                                                    Leia Jiang  4 weeks back

                                                                    Solar energy

                                                                    • Dante Hyndman
                                                                      Dante Hyndman  4 weeks back

                                                                      “The democrats want open waterways and to let all illegal water inland”

                                                                      • Carlos García
                                                                        Carlos García  4 weeks back

                                                                        good luck

                                                                        • THEBIGMEOW
                                                                          THEBIGMEOW  4 weeks back

                                                                          Usa should stop oppressing others countries so God will not punish them with mere water 💦

                                                                          • larrabeejl
                                                                            larrabeejl  1 months back

                                                                            Climate change 😂😂😂 complaining about houses flooding in a flood prone area where they dont belong then blaming climate change for humans stupidity.

                                                                            • Ricky911
                                                                              Ricky911  1 months back

                                                                              A seawall?? Is this what's gonna happen to all coastal cities??Seriously, how about we actually start to care about climate change instead?

                                                                              • Zacharius
                                                                                Zacharius  1 months back

                                                                                When those walls are built, can they add some mechanism to those walls that will use the kinetic energy of the ocean crashing into the walls to generate clean energy? Just an idea...but why not harness that energy...

                                                                                • SeekerFantasy
                                                                                  SeekerFantasy  1 months back

                                                                                  they might be great, but why they didnt built detectors machines like japan did after 2011 tsunami?

                                                                                  • Amy Stambaugh
                                                                                    Amy Stambaugh  1 months back

                                                                                    "small borough of staten island", lol it's bigger than the bronx and manhattan

                                                                                    • Duke Edward
                                                                                      Duke Edward  1 months back

                                                                                      So building a wall to keep the ocean at bay is okay but building a wall in the southern states to keep the drugs guns and murderers at bay, is racist?

                                                                                      • katerina economou
                                                                                        katerina economou  1 months back

                                                                                        anyone more interested in the oyster solution (which wasn't properly explainted) should check out Kate Orf's "Oyster-tecture" project, and lectures. Very cool.

                                                                                        • Lumberjack king the great

                                                                                          Too keep out the water Mexicans

                                                                                          • Ivan Devčić
                                                                                            Ivan Devčić  1 months back

                                                                                            2017: "Let's build a wall at the border with Mexico"
                                                                                            2019:"Let's build a wall at the New York coastline"

                                                                                            • Samuel Cunningham
                                                                                              Samuel Cunningham  1 months back

                                                                                              Racist