New York is building a wall to hold back the ocean

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Climate change is leading to increasingly violent storms. Can seawalls hold back floods?
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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:
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And for more on seawalls:
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Published on


Jun 10, 2019

staten islandseawallNOAAstorm surgesuperstormHurricanenew orleansfloodingflood protectionVox.comvoxexplainexplainerrising sea levelsglobal warmingclimate changesuperstory sandyhurricane sandylong islandnycsandy nycextreme weather




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Comments 2 778
Vox 10 days ago
This piece was a collaboration with our sister-site, Curbed! Check out the original article here: 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 www.curbed.com/2017/2/15/14616928/trump-nasa-climate-change-california - Kim
Dominus Devacore
Dominus Devacore 7 days ago
walls are evil bigot.
Might Guy
Might Guy 27 minutes ago
Scroll down, the comments will not disappoint.
Draw Clearly
Draw Clearly 16 hours ago
Staten Island said: 🧠🚫
Skull 20 hours ago
Walls don’t work
mechadoggy 20 hours ago
What happened to most of the comments?
Boshua Borman
Jesus Christ, why not try and stop the climate change as well?
Boshua Borman
Boshua Borman 4 hours ago
Damn I should've thought about that.
Enuka Pasan
Enuka Pasan 7 hours ago
Maybe cuz Jesus Christ can't stop climate change ?
Brass Day ago
Humans: *Builds cities on wetlands* Nature: *Hurricane* Humans" "wHy Is ThErE fLoOdInG????"
Logan Butcher
Donald Trump would approve
Soleon Day ago
what is it with america and its obsession with building walls to solve its problems
Livovian Order Mapping
Tsunami: **im gonna end this whole man’s career**
Jay B
Jay B Day ago
it is not leading to increasingly violent storms. stop lying to people. the data does not back up your claims. there is nothing unusual or out of the ordinary happening.
Countryman99 Rhec
They just admitted that walls work so why don't they want to agree that the wall on the southern border would work
Pierce 7 hours ago
Countryman99 Rhec you must be joking, right?
Der Headbanger
Do we all agree that fixing the symptoms is way more important than fixing the cause?
Rafael Palacio
How much time is there until when the weather becomes so destructive that people can't be living in parts of the country
Federico Zorrozua González
As an architect I have to say this a terrible solution. The wall will cost millons and it won’t have the capacity to be “””resilient””” in time, because its fixed and is not able to adaptate to the change of tides. It also harms the natural ecosystems that interact in the coast. (oysters, plants, birds). This infraestructural point of view was rendered obsolete in the early 2000, when landscape urbanism came as a new way of thinking the relationship of the urban with nature. Landscape, rather than infrastructure, is much more capable of dealing with the tide because of the simple fact that right now it’s already doing it. The city should invest in landscape architecture solutions that could mediate the relationship between the coast and the water in a more “soft” way, capable of adapting, growing and shrinking as needed. A wonderful example of this approach is the dutch project called Zandmotor, a huge mass of sand that is moved by the tide to where is needed and prevents flooding. I think building a wall is going back to modernism, and we all know how that ended. Hard infrastructure can’t deal with tides because it cannot respond.
홍성탁 Day ago
Nah, we'll make OCEAN PAYING FOR IT!
Ronald Cates
Ronald Cates 2 days ago
Global Warming is a Hoax . . . Period 🔴
cd 2 days ago
They preparing for invasion :P
J Squad Vlogs
J Squad Vlogs 2 days ago
Just drain the water and move it somewhere else . . . Duh 🙄
kakuella 2 days ago
Building those walls are going to change the eco system there too.. Not sure what's more beneficial for long term 🙄🤔
Jim Gerop
Jim Gerop 2 days ago
Is the ocean paying for it?
damn... as a dutch person, this plan to build a wall is almost painful to see... at least they're also planning to use the wetlands. good luck ny!
Jarrod 2 days ago
Why do people live next to the ocean and complain about hurricanes?
Another Guy
Another Guy 2 days ago
Amazing. Keep polluting the environment adding to the climate change for the worse and build walls to keep the aftermath away instead of protecting it by signing that Kyoto protocol...
Damien's Adventure
I like this informative video. :)
COLLEGE DUDE 2 days ago
building a wall... something trump likes; not exactly XD
daLi demo
daLi demo 3 days ago
make mexico pay for it
Fedir Kriviy
Fedir Kriviy 3 days ago
Kim Mas is 😍
Worrywart 3 days ago
Wow, they're thinking of building a wall that might actually serve a useful purpose? Whatever will they think of next!
Wes 0608
Wes 0608 3 days ago
Most of people from NY think walls don’t work...
David Dima
David Dima 3 days ago
"Build the walls to protect the city is one thing" "But build the city to protect it self is another thing" You guys understand. *plastics*
Matt Keane
Matt Keane 3 days ago
I guess walls work huh
Sean Bradley
Sean Bradley 3 days ago
A 5 mile long, 20ft high concrete wall would have such a large carbon footprint it's insane
Activist Voor Rechten Van Kaas
still better than drowning
Michael Plessala
Michael Plessala 3 days ago
We can’t build a wall! Walls are immoral and if the ocean wants to cross Staten Island’s border illegally, it should be able to! Ocean rights are human rights!!✊🏾
Ankita 3 days ago
Created the city on wetlands (occupied) Now eager to stop the ocean. Nature avenges in weird ways.
Etiti Yulolo
Etiti Yulolo 3 days ago
as if a wall can do anything to stop the water...
Yuzu Aihara
Yuzu Aihara 3 days ago
In situation like these, people who claim to have a solution tend to choose the easiest and most convenient option; erect a wall.
SuperKing604 3 days ago
Strategic retreat in a good option to basically pay people to move away from high risk areas. In the long run its cheap and effective
thomas is op
thomas is op 3 days ago
every New Yorker would say to Trump that walls don't work hmmmmm
gogzter McAll
gogzter McAll 4 days ago
Aw aye when these lots harp on about how bad building a wall is. Now they want one
EricG326 4 days ago
How racist of them...
《I S R A E L》
This is racist against the Ocean, we should be building bridges not walls
David W
David W 4 days ago
Wade Wilson
Wade Wilson 4 days ago
So you’re telling me Walls work?
Dragongamer1301 4 days ago
Why dont you just drink all the water instead of building a wall. Smh
I 4 days ago
Trump’s second wall
I 4 days ago
Why don’t they build a wall in the most hurricane hit States like Florida
Davis Edwards
Davis Edwards 4 days ago
New York said walls are immoral
Poppie 4 days ago
hope all people care in
NADINE K 4 days ago
For me building wall is stupidity, it's not gonna work the wave just gonna hit the wall and the wall wont stay in long time it alson ruin the eco with all of life in the ocean ?! , aren't plastic already in the ocean and now chemical ,rock and cemen *such not a danger
Buffalo Herd
Buffalo Herd 4 days ago
wait, did you just say that we need to protect Staten Island from flooding or it will return to its natural state of swampland? 2:55
Joe Knuckles
Joe Knuckles 4 days ago
Did New York do environmental studies? Building this wall will kill the yellow striped mosquitos.
Seyyed Mohammad Ahmadi
you guys are talking about billions of dollars when your military spends 600 billion annually
m yu
m yu 4 days ago
02:06 damn
Bro what if the sea goes around the wall?
Ersin Avseren
Ersin Avseren 5 days ago
Just call the Dutchies back..
B ill M iller
B ill M iller 5 days ago
Build the wall! Lmao
Geraint Hughes
Geraint Hughes 5 days ago
people have building sea defences for hundreds of years, its a good idea. Nothing new. Radiation GHE is a lie. Direct proof exists on my channel.
Youtube Today
Youtube Today 5 days ago
But I thought walls don’t work!🤔
Es Gee
Es Gee 5 days ago
perfectly appropriate that trump loving staten islanders are finally getting their wall
Alvin Ace Trinidad
in the next 10 years, america will be covered by a huge perimeter wall
Alvin Ace Trinidad
mother nature will be broke paying for that damn wall
Josephine The Celtic
Have a look at Amsterdam and Holland generally - they’ve been dealing with flooding throughout all of their history. They’re called dikes and windmills.. also, you have to allow water through but in a controlled manner so the landscape needs to be adapted to allow “SuDs”.. you can’t just think that building walls everywhere is gonna resolve all your problems.. so simplistic thinking..
Fuby TV
Fuby TV 5 days ago
Woodynic 5 days ago
Only idiots live on the water. A sea wall wont protect you from swelling. Remember Fukushima? If the ocean wants you dead, He'll get ya.
Dipto Nugroho
Dipto Nugroho 5 days ago
Americans really love walls
Christina Washburn
Or stop building housing so close to the water and under sea level
K4x4 Map
K4x4 Map 5 days ago
whether it works or not, the idea of trying something is good. hopefully you can use a program to simulate the effects of a wall. sadly as I've stated on other occasions, the (sea) water will only be diverted somewhere else. less cement covering the ground is a great idea, plants trees to soak up natural groundwater. just remember that unless you're using other binders except for water to build this wall, the efforts might last a little while...interesting video...the water in the high hills cuts down valleys to get to sea level (without the required sedimentation load) whilst the sea level is trying to cut up that future wall to get uphill...leaves me to believe that the earth in them there parts is trying to reach a new equilibrium...somehow the interest of obtaining a seaplane rating seems quite the move!
salvadore sutton
salvadore sutton 5 days ago
the sea isnt rising. the ship is sinking
don't have nickname , don't want true name around
9 feet = 2,7432m 20 feet = 6,096m
Meme Mine
Meme Mine 6 days ago
CO2=Y2Kx1984x666 Al Gore is my shepherd, I shall not think. He maketh me lie down in Greenzi pastures: He leadeth me beside his still-freezing waters. He selleth my soul for CO2: He leadeth me in his path of his self-righteousness for his own sake. And yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of reason, I will fear all logic: for thou art with me and thinking for me; Thy Gore family oil fortune & thy 10,000 square Gorey foot mansion, they comfort me. Thou preparest a movie in the presence of contradictory evidence: Thou anointest mine head with nonsense; my mindless conformity runneth over. Surely blind faith and hysteria shall follow me all the days of the rest of my life & I will dwell in the house of ALGORE forever. -Paul Merrifield 1990
PPG KID 6 days ago
Guess what, your president doesn't think climate change/global warning is real. Sooo good luck
Penny Lane
Penny Lane 6 days ago
Save Staten Island! Because... I really like the ferry...
matt ruggiero
matt ruggiero 6 days ago
Yeoooo STATEN island wya
peter jakoncic
peter jakoncic 6 days ago
people shoudnt live where theyre not supposed to live, for example wetlands...
Maria Lomas
Maria Lomas 6 days ago
I have a question. Why are the oceans rising? Does that have something to do with the temperature or am I completely wrong?
Tom Jones
Tom Jones 5 days ago
If oceans are rising why are the docks which are a hundred years old on NY harbor still above water?
Ruki Sar
Ruki Sar 6 days ago
There's an irony to New York, financial center of the world for decades due to fossil fuel wealth, building a wall to hold back the ocean that they caused to rise.
victor lee
victor lee 6 days ago
Make aquaman pay for it
Rumki Das
Rumki Das 6 days ago
*this project is initiated by Trump*
Jesus Covarrubias
But yet we have a president who cares more about people coming into his country than his own country 🙄
Ayy Yo
Ayy Yo 5 days ago
@Jesus Covarrubias isnt that why they're building this wall? LOL
Jesus Covarrubias
@DoubleJ but shouldn't he make sure that the people who are already here be safe?? 🤔
DoubleJ 5 days ago
He should care about the people coming in to this country. People who don’t care who comes into this country don’t care about this country.
Sanne de Heer
Sanne de Heer 6 days ago
maybe we should actually do something about climate change instead of throwing money at it
Sanne de Heer
Sanne de Heer 6 days ago
A wall seems to be every solution for the USA nowdays lmao
Aravind V
Aravind V 6 days ago
America has to do something with this obsession for walls..
Exodus227 6 days ago
America: Has a minor inconvenience Also America: *"BUILD A WALL"*
CraftTheDraft 2 days ago
Since when did all of America want to do that?
BaronVonTrousers 5 days ago
Wouldn't necessarily call rising sea levels and billions of dollars of property damage a "minor inconvenience".
Joshua Stone
Joshua Stone 6 days ago
Yet there are still people in the White House that don’t believe in Climate Change.
Stefanos Mor
Stefanos Mor 6 days ago
this sounds like the equivalent of putting a band aid on for an open heart surgery
Schleck re
Schleck re 6 days ago
Anyone else this reminds to the expanse?
Michael Bullock
Michael Bullock 6 days ago
Did we not debunk the 'rise of the superstorms' myth years ago? Of course storm damage estimates are going to go up, things are getting more expensive!
Jon E
Jon E 6 days ago
There are ancient ruins under the oceans all over the world. Nothing new. Plato will tell you all about it.
Jon E
Jon E 4 days ago
@Ayy Yo sea levels have been rising for centuries. Long before the use of fossil fuels.
Ayy Yo
Ayy Yo 5 days ago
What does that have to do with rising sea levels?
DJ Trendsetta
DJ Trendsetta 6 days ago
Or you could just move.
Steve Mang
Steve Mang 6 days ago
Near future, some bar in NYC: Dude "Bruh, you just totally c blocked me!" Bruh drunkenly points in direction of the wall "You're welcome!"
Bryan Rigby
Bryan Rigby 6 days ago
Smh why dont they just plant trees in protected "green areas"
Mushu Gone
Mushu Gone 6 days ago
I say thin the herd. Natural selection is quite the motivator.
Tom Jones
Tom Jones 5 days ago
I couldn't agree more end all aid to africa
Michelle Satterly
This wall is racist against water
Mikey’s Water Girl
Mr. President, please Tear Down That Wall!!
Morty Sanchez
Morty Sanchez 6 days ago
Build that wall! Build that wall!
Loren Theory
Loren Theory 7 days ago
A big beautiful smart wall..
FortuitusVideo 7 days ago
Dont build walls, build bridges.
jojofromtx 7 days ago
They took funding from Houston for a seawall after Harvey for this. In the richest country on earth we can afford tax cuts but not be able to protect both cities. Sad.
stoic romulan
stoic romulan 7 days ago
Texas don't believe in climate change and didn't want to give $$ to new jersey for recovery 🤔
YukiSkullDoll 7 days ago
Or they could move
Mariëtte G
Mariëtte G 7 days ago
LOL dat is gewoon een dijk
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