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:
For more research and climate-related content:
And for more on seawalls:
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Published on


Jun 10, 2019




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Comments 3 032
Vox 3 months 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
MICHGO1 23 days ago
LONNIE DOBBINS 3 months ago
@BLAIR M Schirmer Thank you! I wanted to read the comments and find someone that's actually thinking what all of this means. They're talking of building a wall around Staten Island Only. *What About The City?* What are they going to do for it? *Walls Are Impossible All Over The City!* They can raise homes up higher but not skyscrapers! Right now we need TOTAL Suspension Of All Emissions Just To Keep It From Being Worse. It's to late to stop it now. They need to think about moving.
varun009 54 minutes ago
If you build a wall on the coast, the water is just gonna go around and come up the southern border.
varun009 3 hours ago
Sent the cheque to Atlantis. These are some bad dudes. They're bringing wind, they're bringing in water, they're rapists and *SOME*, I assume, are good people.
angry Dani
angry Dani 12 hours ago
Just like that James bay song
Kevin Reynolds
Kevin Reynolds 15 hours ago
Great - so once agriculture collapses, we can sit behind the walls and starve....
Stephen Murphy
That's so racist building a wall too keep the ocean's out. I kinda like Billy Ocean..
Jamie Wells
Jamie Wells Day ago
Are we making the ocean pay for it?
Secret EyeSpot
what if we made it out of trash/debris?
Tony Chalmers
Show me where the sea level as changed. it's a lie and there is no Global warming or climate change. There as always been bad weather. Stop building right near the sea. Anyone with brains would tell you this is a very bad idea. And the more damage is the increase of population and more buildings. just move away from the coast.
rum and coke32
rum and coke32 4 days ago
Building a wall to keep the water is....waterist!
Tim J
Tim J 4 days ago
*I thought walls didn't work* 😆
snake pliskin2.0
snake pliskin2.0 6 days ago
Let the seas reclaim New York and California the US would be a better place
KJ is the w0rst
KJ is the w0rst 6 days ago
So this walls gud tho
qwertyappleshock 6 days ago
Hurricanes? Typhoons? FILIPINOS: Hold my San Miguel Beer.. 💪 No question, the Filipino's resilience is legendary.. ❤️🇵🇭
Francisco Machado
I came from a island and believe me you don't need a wall you need to move those person's away because if the sea is coming there is nothing a human can build to prevent, yes you can delay but is going to be irrelevant, the planet is here sense thousands of years he have time.
Robin Brooke
Robin Brooke 8 days ago
The only way to make sure your sea defences will definitely work is to get Dutch people to build it
Yasin Hasan
Yasin Hasan 8 days ago
ocean making problems? just bomb the ocean: US style
Beau Biker
Beau Biker 8 days ago
Nature's way of getting rid of liberals.
bjorn joseph
bjorn joseph 8 days ago
It's to keep out illegal water
CT & MTA Railfan
CT & MTA Railfan 8 days ago
0:21 Staten Island is not a small borough. It is one of the largest boroughs in terms of land. Manhattan is the smallest borough in NYC in terms of land, but it is the largest in terms of population density.
Carys Williams
Carys Williams 9 days ago
I go to ny harbor school
Sofía 10 days ago
Everyone: how about we work together to try to solve climate change and avoid the end of the world America: Nah that’ll never work... walls on the other hand
Sofía 10 days ago
America will do anything to avoid addressing climate change
Donald J. Trump
Donald J. Trump 13 days ago
I am going to build a great wall of New York's southern border, and I will make Bikini Bottom pay for it.
Friend of Tellus
Friend of Tellus 14 days ago
Great idea !
John Spinelli
John Spinelli 16 days ago
Why dont we just take New York and push it somewhere else?
Ankit Sonu
Ankit Sonu 16 days ago
New York's solution is Similar to Trump's 😂😂
Khushal Paherwar
Khushal Paherwar 16 days ago
This is just gonna be another Jakarta situation
livia 16 days ago
fun fact: when the dutch controlled nyc and was new amsterdam, wall street was an actual wall
pauline palmer
pauline palmer 17 days ago
I thought walls are bad.
Tazmanian Devil
Tazmanian Devil 20 days ago
I worked in Staten Island on the aftermath of hurricane Sandy! I was with the army corps of engineers removing the debris! And my humble opinion is that it could be also considered to do like the way Japan used in there coastline when typhoons hit their land! I can't remember the proper mame of it but i called them cement starts! There are gigantic in size and weight tons! They could be put across the shore line to at least minimise the waves before they impact the shore! Is just a thought!
The King
The King 20 days ago
Building a wall to protect us citizens? Thats racist.
Edwin Cintron
Edwin Cintron 18 days ago
😂🤣😂😁That's too hilarious.. I'm dying laughing lol... greatest comment here
Jame Brooke
Jame Brooke 21 day ago
Yogshaye Ramhota
Yogshaye Ramhota 22 days ago
Nothing can defy the force of nature so why build a wall
Climate Satyagraha : The Power of Truth
This is really sad. For every city that can afford to build a wall, there are alteast 10 which can't. But the one which can afford to is the one which is mostly responsible for the sea level rise. Stop this before its too late.
Blatio1 28 days ago
Well NY'rs, per your logic, that makes you racist against the ocean.
Dota Game
Dota Game Month ago
Just drink the water lol..
Leia Jiang
Leia Jiang Month ago
And then one day it's gonna not work
Leia Jiang
Leia Jiang Month ago
Solar energy
Dante Hyndman
Dante Hyndman Month ago
“The democrats want open waterways and to let all illegal water inland”
Carlos García
Carlos García Month ago
good luck
Usa should stop oppressing others countries so God will not punish them with mere water 💦
larrabeejl Month ago
Climate change 😂😂😂 complaining about houses flooding in a flood prone area where they dont belong then blaming climate change for humans stupidity.
Ricky911 Month ago
A seawall?? Is this what's gonna happen to all coastal cities??Seriously, how about we actually start to care about climate change instead?
Zacharius Month ago
When those walls are built, can they add some mechanism to those walls that will use the kinetic energy of the ocean crashing into the walls to generate clean energy? Just an idea...but why not harness that energy...
SeekerFantasy Month ago
they might be great, but why they didnt built detectors machines like japan did after 2011 tsunami?
Amy Stambaugh
Amy Stambaugh Month ago
"small borough of staten island", lol it's bigger than the bronx and manhattan
Duke Edward
Duke Edward Month ago
So building a wall to keep the ocean at bay is okay but building a wall in the southern states to keep the drugs guns and murderers at bay, is racist?
katerina economou
anyone more interested in the oyster solution (which wasn't properly explainted) should check out Kate Orf's "Oyster-tecture" project, and lectures. Very cool.
Lumberjack king the great
Too keep out the water Mexicans
Ivan Devčić
Ivan Devčić Month ago
2017: "Let's build a wall at the border with Mexico" 2019:"Let's build a wall at the New York coastline"
Samuel Cunningham
jon silveira
jon silveira Month ago
wall street
Nathaniel Turner
LOL but haven't you heard? Walls don't work and are immoral.
Steven Ratti
Steven Ratti Month ago
Boy, conservatives Do love to inflate a mere talking point into a huge thing.
Dearon Tufankjian
How about we just start actually making big changes to our society. Building a wall won’t last too long. We need to get the world leaders together to sit down and find a way to decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere!!!!!!!!
Archive -
Archive - Month ago
Trump:I will build a Great Wall Me in New York:welp I guess he did it If I stole a comment then have a cookie :3🍪🍪
CJC Month ago
BUILD THAT WALL AND LET THE HURRICANES PAY FOR IT! Now that’s what we have to do, after Hurricane Sandy’s and it’s impressive 15ft Storm Surge I got worried about climate change and more flooding events that could turn NY like Atlantis, building a sea wall at least 30 ft high around New York is a very good idea so when the big one comes with a even bigger storm surge then Sandy, where ready, New Orleans, Miami, and Huston should do the same!
trok 13
trok 13 Month ago
HAARP has alot more to do with climate change than people realize.. js
trok 13
trok 13 Month ago
@The Saxon also look into how Banksters threatened Japan w/an earthquake.. Clearly you don't know anything about HAARP.. if you did, you certainly wouldn't of commented what did. Have a nice day!
trok 13
trok 13 Month ago
@The Saxon oh wowww.. Look Into it, and the UN peace treaty of '76.. Btw, I don't even watch Alex Jones lol
Brandon Stennett
Brandon Stennett 2 months ago
Hey ,favor could you guys explain the NO BAIL SWEDEN SITUATION ? would help us ASAP.
Lawke 2 months ago
Remember the Murphy's law : "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". And if I can give any advice to any New Yorker : If one day you hear about the Wall Street's headquarters planning to leave New York, then you should also leave quickly!
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