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 • 2 825

  • Vox
    Vox   2 weeks 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

    • LONNIE DOBBINS
      LONNIE DOBBINS  3 days 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.

  • 60000Subscribers without a video challenge

    Just call The Netherlands

    • Umar Yusuf
      Umar Yusuf  6 hours back

      Did someone see Mexicans in the water?

      • Jefferson Johanes
        Jefferson Johanes  15 hours back

        This whole thing is such a great pun

        • Danarius M.
          Danarius M.  17 hours back

          We need to start moving more inland so we might have to abandon New Orleans one day :/

          • ...................
            ...................  20 hours back

            The day after tomorrow anyone?

            • Hayden Smith
              Hayden Smith  20 hours back

              That is racist against the ocean

              • c p
                c p  21 hours back

                ummm...seawalls arn't for holding back floods,there more for reducing wave damage....Definition of Seawall: A structure separating land and water areas. It is designed to prevent coastal erosion and other damage due to wave action and storm surge, such as flooding. Seawalls are normally very massive structures because they are designed to resist the full force of waves and storm surge.Feb 20, 2019 ,they have been in use around the modern world for century's...and in nature even longer then that,the great barrier reef could be considered a type of seawall.

                • Inverted Shadow
                  Inverted Shadow  1 days back

                  Back water! BACK!
                  Aaa! Bad water! Back!

                  • Emmanuel Cabrera
                    Emmanuel Cabrera  1 days back

                    All cause the reefs arr dieing. Reefs actually help contain this

                    • Tise Ignite
                      Tise Ignite  2 days back

                      It's just a waste of money. If the storm wanted to it could just dig a tunnel and sneak in. I'm just saying. 😧

                      • Maria Gray
                        Maria Gray  2 days back

                        The video: we are preparing for climate disasters of the future
                        Me: well there wouldn’t be any disasters if we actually stopped destroying our planet

                        • destiny velasco
                          destiny velasco  2 days back

                          you know what we should just build a wall around the whole United states. then we can be on attack on titan.

                          • The Resistance
                            The Resistance  2 days back

                            What about offshore wind farms

                            • YesIM mexican
                              YesIM mexican  2 days back

                              Nothing comes good out of it when you challenge mother nature.

                              • mike8055
                                mike8055  2 days back

                                Building walls could make the waves/sea more powerful. Didn't the levees around the Mississippi river get breached because of that? When you try to stop nature, it just gets more aggressive.

                                • Nico_Sama
                                  Nico_Sama  2 days back

                                  Climate hits back with equal force because that's how physics work.

                                  • Jerry Fitness
                                    Jerry Fitness  2 days back

                                    Trump: Did somebody say building a wall??!???

                                    • Ilove Chocolate
                                      Ilove Chocolate  2 days back

                                      Why didn't they plant a mangrove forest?

                                      • DJ Wise Pariah
                                        DJ Wise Pariah  3 days back

                                        Because, you know, it's not like the water can't just go AROUND the wall.

                                        • cesar martinez
                                          cesar martinez  3 days back

                                          Nature: *Hurricane*
                                          Humans: *Wall*
                                          Climate change: Not on my watch! *makes intense hurricanes bigger then before*
                                          Humans: meh

                                          • Syd Clark
                                            Syd Clark  3 days back

                                            We live in a massive world, with land that nobody has ever stood on, yet we build on wetlands.

                                            • Badr eddin
                                              Badr eddin  3 days back

                                              _So how many walls do you want?_


                                              USA: *Yes*

                                              • Herb Tenderson
                                                Herb Tenderson  3 days back

                                                Damn, thank God that the hurricane on September 11th 2001 decided to stop and then go the other way.

                                                • Morgan Yoite
                                                  Morgan Yoite  3 days back

                                                  Make aquaman pay for it

                                                  • Scarlet Inky
                                                    Scarlet Inky  3 days back

                                                    I wonder if that was what Trump meant by a great wall

                                                    • Ryan Rodriguez
                                                      Ryan Rodriguez  3 days back

                                                      Resiliency is just the newest buzzword of landscape architecture and urban design. Cities need to work. Period. Now, tomorrow, and 100 years from now. Green infrastructure has been around for a while and resiliency is just a different way of saying it

                                                      • Ryan Rodriguez
                                                        Ryan Rodriguez  3 days back

                                                        As someone with a masters degree in this area and have done studies on Jamaica bay in New York, I can say that a wall won’t fix anything. The problem with the New York coast is that it 1. Has no protection from storm surge which can be mitigated by land features such as man made sand dunes which would direct water where you want and 2. When water finally enters the land, it takes to long for it to leave. A solution rather than a single wall is creating infrastructure within the actual land rather than the coast for flooding. Infrastructure that will help guide water to a specific destination using the natural topography of the land.

                                                        A single wall will only be as good as we can build it and eventually nature will become stronger. Some ideas here were good, but definitely not the wall.

                                                        • camjamsdad
                                                          camjamsdad  3 days back

                                                          Walls don't work.
                                                          Walls are immoral.

                                                          • colonelmcdoogle
                                                            colonelmcdoogle  4 days back

                                                            That’s very oceanphobic of them.

                                                            • Pathfinder Hazel
                                                              Pathfinder Hazel  4 days back

                                                              I wonder what the designers of these seawalls think.

                                                              • Patrick Radcliffe
                                                                Patrick Radcliffe  4 days back

                                                                Build on fill and it starts settling below the water nice try pinning that on global warming.

                                                                • Thomas Marshall
                                                                  Thomas Marshall  4 days back

                                                                  All of my cousins and extended family (225 people) live within the 5 Burroughs. I’m from Brooklyn originally. My cousins condo was on Mob Wives when Sandy hit. A boat washed up on the front stairs of her condo and they showed it on that episode. The island got trashed.

                                                                  Anyway, I know Staten Island well. There is no way to keep the water back unless you put up a wall around the entire island. It’s below sea level in many parts. Putting up a 5 mile stretch of wall is the dumbest thing they could do. It’s just going to go around the damn thing.

                                                                  • Ruben Bronco
                                                                    Ruben Bronco  4 days back

                                                                    WTF AMERICA, why don’t you use the Metric System wtfff

                                                                    • Sven Lima
                                                                      Sven Lima  4 days back

                                                                      Build a 1mile high waterproof wall around the USA - and fill it up with water.

                                                                      • Purple Purp
                                                                        Purple Purp  4 days back

                                                                        So walls work to keep stuff out?

                                                                        • JC Korn
                                                                          JC Korn  4 days back

                                                                          Something tells me we were nomadic for a reason.....

                                                                          • JC Korn
                                                                            JC Korn  5 days back

                                                                            So.....walls.....work?
                                                                            I was told they don’t.

                                                                            • S.A anderson
                                                                              S.A anderson  5 days back

                                                                              Building walls dont solve the problem its just kicking the can down the road

                                                                              • Might Guy
                                                                                Might Guy  5 days back

                                                                                Scroll down, the comments will not disappoint.

                                                                                • Draw Clearly
                                                                                  Draw Clearly  6 days back

                                                                                  Staten Island said: 🧠🚫

                                                                                  • Skull
                                                                                    Skull  6 days back

                                                                                    Walls don’t work

                                                                                    • mechadoggy
                                                                                      mechadoggy  6 days back

                                                                                      What happened to most of the comments?

                                                                                      • Boshua Borman
                                                                                        Boshua Borman  6 days back

                                                                                        Jesus Christ, why not try and stop the climate change as well?

                                                                                        • Boshua Borman
                                                                                          Boshua Borman  5 days back

                                                                                          Damn I should've thought about that.

                                                                                        • Enuka Pasan
                                                                                          Enuka Pasan  5 days back

                                                                                          Maybe cuz Jesus Christ can't stop climate change ?

                                                                                      • Brass
                                                                                        Brass  6 days back

                                                                                        Humans: *Builds cities on wetlands*


                                                                                        Nature: *Hurricane*


                                                                                        Humans" "wHy Is ThErE fLoOdInG????"

                                                                                        • Ree
                                                                                          Ree  21 hours back

                                                                                          Humans: "Hmm, these hurricanes aren't nearly destructive enough. How can we fix this?"

                                                                                      • Logan Butcher
                                                                                        Logan Butcher  6 days back

                                                                                        Donald Trump would approve

                                                                                        • Soleon
                                                                                          Soleon  6 days back

                                                                                          what is it with america and its obsession with building walls to solve its problems

                                                                                          • Livovian Order Mapping

                                                                                            Tsunami: **im gonna end this whole man’s career**