Report: Gulf and Atlantic Coasts Not Prepared for Sea-Level Rise

This July 23rd, National Geographic ran an article (click here) summarizing a new report commissioned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and published by the National Research Council. The research is focused on coastal preparedness for climate-induced sea level rise.

In it, the report’s authors note that, “in the past, most risk reduction projects have focused on fortification, with few efforts to limit redevelopment in high-risk areas and steer development toward safer, lower-risk areas.”

As chairman of the committee that wrote the report, UNC Chapel Hill professor of marine sciences, Richard Luettich, noted that there continues to be “a misalignment of risk, reward, resources, and responsibility.” The result has been “inefficiencies and inappropriate incentives that ultimately increase coastal risk.”

A primary source of increased risk comes via developers, who build in hazardous areas because they have the ability to pass the risk on to homeowners and government. The report’s authors also note that state and local officials often “look the other way” because they benefit from the expanded tax base—an argument that could very well apply to leadership in Southampton Town.

As we continue to evaluate the most responsible and sustainable approaches for managing our East End coastline, CCQ would like to call attention to the way in which the proposed dredging project in Quogue would perpetuate the increased risk taking in our region—and how it would compound the costs to us all.

Please join us on August 10th in Quogue Village Hall at 3pm, as we continue our due diligence. The presentation, “Navigating Troubled Waters: Science and Coastal Management”, will be delivered by journalist, author and thought leader Cornelia Dean, and moderated by Dr. Rob Young, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines.

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