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Mitigation of Sea Level Rise

Sea level rise is one of the major effects of climate change. The fast increase of sea levels and the problems it will cause are becoming more prominent as the years go by. ​Already​There are now​ several cities in the United States ​that​ are implementing different ​approaches​kinds of techniques and solutions in order​ to slow down ​the impact of ​sea level rise. ​These include:​ Solutions like​ ​b​uilding ​s​​eawalls, ​c​​onstructing ​b​​eaches as ​b​​arriers, ​r​​aising roads, ​u​​pgrading ​s​​ewage ​s​​ystems, ​s​​lowing ​l​​and ​s​inkage and ​planning​​managed r​​etreats.

Building Seawalls​ attempt​ ​are done ​to decrease flooding from tides and storms. Built​, they are​ five to six-f​ee​​t-high above sea level​, they​ and​ cost about $600 to $2000 per linear foot. Problems arise when walls age and become damaged from the sea waves. Also, the walls​ would​ need to be consistently built higher as the sea levels increase. According to First Street Foundation, New York City is currently building a flood protection system ​for​ in Manhattan,​ it is​ estimated to cost ​around​ $335 million.

Another solution is using constructing ​b​​eaches as barriers. The construction of beaches and sand dunes is like building seawalls as its main function would be​ to prevent water reaching the land. The bigger the beaches and sand dunes the more water​ can ​be​ block​ed​. Not only that, but the construction of ​b​​eaches will also benefit communities​ by​ providing enjoyment and ​it will engage ​ everyone to ​become proactive​ in mitigating sea level rise.

Next,​ in some cities they are​ raising roads​. The higher roads will help ​avoid and ​drain ​more water and reduce​ tidal flooding. Unfortunately, that will cause flooding​ into the places​ at lower elevations. ​Thus these cities, as a solution, plan​ to utilize stormwater pumps to ​prevent​ ​ flooding ​at​ lower elevations​. According to First Street Foundation, Miami Beach is currently raising roads by two feet. It is said to cost about​ $2 million per block and ​will ​take​s​ ​about​ 2 years to complete.

Upgrading sewage systems can also be done. Sewage systems are often damaged by floods, and ​can​ sometime​s cause​s​ health hazards ​if​ as​ septic tanks break​ ​down​​. It ​costs about $50 to $250 per linear foot to  ​construct​ new sewer lines and ensure that storm water does not seep into​ the​ old damaged pipes and tanks. T​​he time it takes to upgrade​ of​ such systems is about 3 years.

Slowing land sinkage is also one of the ​ways to mitigate sea level rise​ ​. Some ​l​​ands are now sinking ​because ​ too much water has been pumped out of ​under​ the ground​ aquifers​,​ which​ causes the land ​elevation​ to ​sink and ​become even lower​. As a solution to this problem, communities are now limiting groundwater pumping, and have started projects which will inject vast amounts of purified wastewater in​to​ the ground. A project like this takes about ​5-10 years to complete and ​is​ huge​ly expensive​.

Sadly, even with many solutions available, some communities are forced to relocate as they’re faced with the great risk of flooding and sea level rise. It is too late now for some areas to only ​start to combat and mitigate sea level rise. T​he best option is to relocate and ensure safety. Furthermore, solutions not only take a long time to ​implement​ but they also may ​cost ​more​ money​ than a city can afford,​ and may require ​new​ and different kinds of​ laws to be passed.

All in all, it is important for all of us to be proactive. Sea level rise is only one of the major effects of climate change. ​There are m​any more ​– ​like the increase of​ hotter days, warmer ​ocean temperature, and extreme weather events​, to name just a few​. Al​l must ​ ​be mitigated before it is too late.

Works Cited

Foundation, First Street. “Solving for Sea Level Rise.” ​Medium​, FirstStreet, 24 Nov. 2018, medium.com/firststreet/solving-for-sea-level-rise-b95600751525

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