Photo © David Shankbone

After last year’s Hurricane Irene, the prospect of many parts of NYC flooding due to rising tides has become a much more tangible worry. Although the Bloomberg administration has dedicated efforts to research the effects of climate change on our city, they might not be moving fast enough. Stony Brook University’s Storm Surge Research Group says that even though NYC has been working hard to prevent future flooding in Lower Manhattan, other areas like the South Bronx and Sunset Park are in danger as well, and not enough is being done about it.

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Douglas Hill of the Storm Surge Research Group says that rather than becoming preoccupied with the thought of floods, the Bloomberg administration should focus their efforts on preventative measures. Protection like movable sea gates could help block storm surges, keeping overflow out of New York’s waterways from the Long Island Sound.

Other concerns center around the chemical manufacturing plants in the Bronx and Brooklyn, many of which are set up on the waterfront. Should the rising seas be surged by a storm, these areas could face more than just flooding. Chemicals and toxic materials from these industrial sites could be washed away, contaminating water for the entire New York area.

Aside from storm surges, the concern of rising tides is a very real problem. Sea levels had been rising an inch per decade, but are now climbing at increasing rates as climate change affects the earth.

Although research and preventative measures are under way, we hope that the Bloomberg administration will see that the problem is much larger than just Manhattan, and find some viable solutions before it’s too late.

+ Storm Surge Research Group

Via NY Times

Images © Eguchi Shintaro and ©David Shankbone