This aggrieved and loss shattered resident of the Rockaways in NYC has got it all wrong. Rebuilding and infrastructure in flood prone areas needs to be carefully planned. Best practices for sustainable smart growth should be followed and long range planning for the communities as a whole taking precedence over quick fixes to get people back into their beach side property.
“We actually need sea walls here,” said Wilmarth. “They’re worried about repairing the boardwalk. I don’t care about the boardwalk. Get us a sea wall. Get us a flood barrier or something.”
Sea Walls just lead to beach erosion, and as the next article points out, they didn’t help the New Jersey communities which had them. Its time for big thinking and putting the community above the individual. Perhaps the best solution isn’t letting homeowners rebuild in areas that will just get swamped again.
NYTimes: We Need to Retreat From the Beach http://nyti.ms/ZMv2dv
This is not the time for a solution based purely on engineering. The Army Corps undoubtedly will be heavily involved. But as New Jersey and New York move forward, officials should seek advice from oceanographers, coastal geologists, coastal and construction engineers and others who understand the future of rising seas and their impact on barrier islands. We need more resilient development, to be sure. But we also need to begin to retreat from the ocean’s edge.