Just Released! Order “Waking Up to Climate Change” by George Ropes, and receive 25% Discount. Learn More

Close this search box.
Close this search box.

HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

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

Image Link:


Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


More Posts Like This


Climate Change in the New York City Metro Area

There is no doubt that the New York City metro area became one of the richest and most famous cities on Earth due to its access to the Hudson River and Atlantic Ocean. The New York Harbor is one of the most perfect natural harbors on Earth for


Cultivating Resilience: Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change

Climate change poses significant threats to global agriculture, impacting the very backbone of human sustenance. Altering precipitation patterns, increasing temperatures, and extreme weather events are disrupting traditional farming cycles and threatening food security worldwide. The agricultural sector is responding to these challenges with innovative adaptive strategies aimed at


Global Pandemics & Global Climate Change

Do global pandemics and global climate change affect each other? How? In my point of view, I can say it is affirmative that global pandemics and climate change can affect each other in many ways. Here is how they both affect each other. The degradation of the environment