New York City and the Army Corps of Engineers are considering five options to protect the city from sea level rise. Among them is a six mile long set of retractable gates that would stretch from Queens, NY, to New Jersey.
Supporters see many benefits from the gates. They say the barriers would be far enough off shore to be out of sight for most land dwellers, they’d hold back storm surges, similar to the one from Hurricane Sandy that swamped lower Manhattan, and they’d be better at protecting everyone, not just the wealthy areas that are being shielded from flooding by land-bound solutions currently being built.
Opponents, however, worry that by the time the gate project is completed in 25 years it will be obsolete because of sea level rise. They’re also concerned that it will create even more problems for the city by preventing stormwater runoff from escaping back into the sea.
Residents, government officials, the Corps of Engineers and environmental groups will make the final decision. In the meantime, real estate owners along the city’s 520-mile coastline and adjacent areas need to keep informed about the debate and get involved if their property will be impacted.
You can read more about the great New York sea level rise debate in this New York Times article.