“Rising sea levels are not just a future threat: They are already here, a documented fact,” says a team of researchers in a recently published volume of reporting by Reuters.
The investigation, titled Water’s Edge: The Crisis of Rising Sea Levels, provides a cogent look at the erosion issues facing our coastline, the fiscal disaster that is unfolding through efforts to protect coastal property, and the perverse actions of local and federal governments in continuing to encourage beachfront development.
“Higher water levels compound the effects of storms and regular flooding, hastening erosion… yet the law has done little to discourage growth in harm’s way,” says the investigative team.
“Despite laws intended to curb development where rising seas pose the greatest threat, Reuters finds that government is happy to help the nation indulge in its passion for beachfront living.”
Much of that help comes from federal government in the form of financial incentives, while local governments help by authorizing engineering projects that create massive costs to taxpayers and the environment—all the while, providing a false sense of security to those who live along the coast.
Click here to read the entire article.
On August 22nd, The New York Times published an op-ed piece (page A23) authored by Dr. Rob Young, the esteemed coastal geologist who moderated and co-hosted our August 10th presentation by Cornelia Dean, and who also presented to our community last August. It is an important read for members of all coastal communities, and especially Quogue.
Though the op-ed focuses squarely on the dredging project proposed for Fire Island, the issues raised are nearly identical to those we face in Quogue.
As Dr. Young laments at the end of his piece, “we now favor political expediency over science, and action over a thoughtful evaluation of its long-term consequences.”
After reading Dr. Young’s article, and in consideration of the proposed $15 million dredging project for Quogue, we hope our neighbors will agree with the need for an open, objective and constructive Village-led forum for considering these issues holistically.
We strongly encourage all to read and share this important piece.
Click here to read the entire article.
The following editorial originally ran in The Southampton Press, Western edition, Page A10 of Thursday, July 10, 2014.
“Within the next 15 years, higher sea levels combined with storm surge will likely increase the average annual cost of coastal storms along the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico by $2 billion to $3.5 billion. Adding in potential changes in hurricane activity, the likely increase in average annual losses grows to up to $7.3 billion, bringing the total annual price tag for hurricanes and other coastal storms to $35 billion.”
These projections come from a new report commissioned by the Risky Business Project, co-chaired by Henry Paulson, Michael Bloomberg and others.
According to the executive summary of the report, The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States: “if we continue on our current path, by 2050 between $66 billion and $106 billion worth of existing coastal property will likely be below sea level nationwide.” The Northeast and Southeast regions are likely to experience the lion’s share.
As project co-chair and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson reasons, “to plan for climate change, we must plan for volatility and disruption.”
Currently, the Village of Quogue has no such plan. Instead, we have been historically reactive to coastal events and rely on an outdated coastal management framework that, aside from a few amendments, has largely gone untouched since the late 1990s. Our current generic environmental impact statement—a document upon which many erosion control and development permitting decisions are based—was written nearly 20 years ago. Continue reading Beach Nourishment is Only a Band-Aid–Not a Solution →