The water line is rising along NYC’s waterfront, and public works artist Eve Mosher is using her High Water Line project to make sure that we understand the very real effects of climate change along our shared urban coastline. From May to October 2007, Mosher is drawing (by-hand or pushcart) a white chalk line through the waterfront communities of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan in order to illustrate the 10-feet above sea level mark that potentially threatens unsuspecting neighborhoods, commercial zones, city streets, and private residences. High Water Line marks the extent of increased flooding brought on by stronger and more frequent storms as a result of climate change.

Illuminated beacons will also be installed in local area parks and information packets distributed by the artist and volunteers to curious residents and business owners along the close to seventy-mile project. Mosher maintains a detailed blog account of the dialogs and the ‘not in my front yard’ conversations that she has with concerned citizens who would be most affected by flooding and increases in sea levels.

According to the scientific data culled by Mosher on her website, modest sea level rises of 4.3 to 7.6 inches could occur by the 2020’s at current rates. By the 2050’s, the area’s sea level could rise by 6.9 to 12.1 inches if trends are not reversed.

Mosher recently participated in a panel discussion at the CitySol Fest here in NYC and, along with other participants, was left examining the idea of how to “reframe the global warming issue from a global one to a local one, with real, tangible actions.” The artist believes that projects like the High Water Line have the potential to not only raise public awareness, but also to serve as a catalyst for ongoing questioning in conjunction with shared resources and tools at the grassroots level.

+ High Water Line