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 Instead, we have been historically reactive to coastal events and rely on an outdated coastal management framework that, aside from a few amendments, has largely gone untouched since the late 1990s.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