Climate Change: $5.3 Billion Worth of Sea Walls Needed to Protect Bay Area

Categories: Environment
Flood.jpg
Come 2151, little sea-walls like this one at The Embarcadero simply won't do
Climate-change-borne threats of flood, erosion, inundation, and salinization will spur the Bay Area to spend more than $5.3 billion on seawalls and levees, according to a report by the environmental group NRDC.

The report, "Thirsty for Answers Preparing for the Water-related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities," says that rising Bay Area sea levels will require 640 miles of such bulwarks.

Doing nothing would cause the ruin of property worth $31 to $64 billion, according to the report. By armoring the coastline, however, humans will further disrupt natural processes, causing even more harm to the environment.
Floodplain.jpg
If your neigbhorhood's in pink, expect it to sink.
Unless we start shelling out money for seawalls, the Bay Area regions now referred to as floodplains will become submerged. As you can see from this map, San Francisco's China Basin, Embarcadero, and India Basin neighborhoods, as well as as swaths of Oakland and Alameda, will sink.

In other words, a century's worth of garbage and fill that was once dumped in the bay will be undone by climate change.

Somehow it's hard not to take Mother Nature's side in this dispute.

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