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?

    Join the Video Lab! http://bit.ly/video-lab

    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:

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

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

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

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Comments • 3 024

  • Vox
    Vox   4 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  1 months back

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

    • LONNIE DOBBINS
      LONNIE DOBBINS  4 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.

  • The Dudelino
    The Dudelino  2 days back

    It works. After some flooding we've done this in the 70ies in Germany and never had problems again with cities close to the ocean. You can also beautifully integrate this with nature, let grass grow over these human made hills it and it looks like part of the coastline.

    • Rick Sadler
      Rick Sadler  2 days back

      Did it work for new orlens

      • Layla's Wonderland
        Layla's Wonderland  4 days back

        No matter what, nature always wins

        • Kamsky Sigrah
          Kamsky Sigrah  7 days back

          Building a wall is so selfish

          • estrellahub
            estrellahub  1 weeks back

            it can go around.

            • sinistar426
              sinistar426  2 weeks back

              Walls dont work though, wont the water just use a ladder??? Hey i know, Why doesnt NY just make a few laws banning hurricanes and torrential floods?

              • Will Bingham
                Will Bingham  2 weeks back

                Building a wall is racist. I Can’t believe NY

                • Galaxy YT
                  Galaxy YT  2 weeks back

                  My city is more than 1000 meters above sea level 🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂

                  • Ashton Hundt
                    Ashton Hundt  3 weeks back

                    And it would be a great wet wall

                    • Anthony Martinez
                      Anthony Martinez  3 weeks back

                      Galveston tx been having one

                      • Thompter S. Hunson
                        Thompter S. Hunson  3 weeks back

                        Can't wait to see these concrete blocks flying up in the air

                        • varun009
                          varun009  3 weeks back

                          If you build a wall on the coast, the water is just gonna go around and come up the southern border.

                          • varun009
                            varun009  3 weeks back

                            Sent the cheque to Atlantis. These are some bad dudes. They're bringing wind, they're bringing in water, they're rapists and *SOME*, I assume, are good people.

                            • angry Dani
                              angry Dani  3 weeks back

                              Just like that James bay song

                              • Kevin Reynolds
                                Kevin Reynolds  3 weeks back

                                Great - so once agriculture collapses, we can sit behind the walls and starve....

                                • Stephen Murphy
                                  Stephen Murphy  3 weeks back

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

                                  • Jamie Wells
                                    Jamie Wells  3 weeks back

                                    Are we making the ocean pay for it?

                                    • Secret EyeSpot
                                      Secret EyeSpot  3 weeks back

                                      what if we made it out of trash/debris?

                                      • Tony Chalmers
                                        Tony Chalmers  3 weeks 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 weeks back

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

                                          • Tim J
                                            Tim J  4 weeks back

                                            *I thought walls didn't work* 😆

                                            • snake pliskin2.0
                                              snake pliskin2.0  4 weeks back

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

                                              • KJ is the w0rst
                                                KJ is the w0rst  4 weeks back

                                                So this walls gud tho

                                                • qwertyappleshock
                                                  qwertyappleshock  4 weeks back

                                                  Hurricanes? Typhoons?

                                                  FILIPINOS: Hold my San Miguel Beer.. 💪

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

                                                  • Francisco Machado
                                                    Francisco Machado  4 weeks 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  4 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  4 weeks back

                                                        ocean making problems? just bomb the ocean: US style

                                                        • Beau Biker
                                                          Beau Biker  4 weeks back

                                                          Nature's way of getting rid of liberals.

                                                          • bjorn joseph
                                                            bjorn joseph  4 weeks back

                                                            It's to keep out illegal water

                                                            • CT & MTA Railfan
                                                              CT & MTA Railfan  4 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  4 weeks back

                                                                I go to ny harbor school

                                                                • Sofía
                                                                  Sofía  4 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  4 weeks back

                                                                    America will do anything to avoid addressing climate change

                                                                    • Donald J. Trump
                                                                      Donald J. Trump  1 months 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  1 months back

                                                                        Great idea !

                                                                        • John Spinelli
                                                                          John Spinelli  1 months back

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

                                                                          • Ankit Sonu
                                                                            Ankit Sonu  1 months back

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

                                                                            • Khushal Paherwar
                                                                              Khushal Paherwar  1 months back

                                                                              This is just gonna be another Jakarta situation

                                                                              • livia
                                                                                livia  1 months back

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

                                                                                • pauline palmer
                                                                                  pauline palmer  1 months back

                                                                                  I thought walls are bad.

                                                                                  • Tazmanian Devil
                                                                                    Tazmanian Devil  1 months 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  1 months back

                                                                                      Building a wall to protect us citizens? Thats racist.

                                                                                      • Edwin Cintron
                                                                                        Edwin Cintron  1 months back

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

                                                                                    • Jame Brooke
                                                                                      Jame Brooke  1 months back

                                                                                      What? NEW YORKERS for WALLS?? RACIST!

                                                                                      • Yogshaye Ramhota
                                                                                        Yogshaye Ramhota  1 months 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  2 months back

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

                                                                                            • Dota Game
                                                                                              Dota Game  2 months back

                                                                                              Just drink the water lol..