• Emily Johnson

Staten Island in New York constructing 3.5 mile seawall

Waves crashing along the wall in Staten Island

New York is building a seawall, a line of protection, along the border of Staten Island. By 2025, Staten Island will be fortified with this new wall that is being constructed for the changing climate, which is becoming a threat.

The wall will be 20 feet high and run 5.3 miles around the coast of the island. In the next 20 years, CNN reported, the U.S. will spend $400 billion to protect coastal communities. The Staten Island project is estimated to cost about $615 million.

Coastal engineers are beginning to work all around the world to provide structures due to this growing problem. The first seawalls were built hundreds of years ago, but we now have the assets to better protect the people living on and near the coastlines than ever before. The techniques used from centuries ago are being repaired, also now with the idea of creating designs that encourage and benefit marine life.

Hurricane Sandy hit the US East Coast in 2012. The people of Staten Island were devastated and left with property loss and death. The massive waves killed about 24 of the dozens of the people who eventually died in the storm. With a population of 500,000 people, Staten Island was not capable of withstanding a record of 32.5 high waves.

The seawalls are not only expensive to install, but they also need regular maintenance to withstand crashing waves day after day. In many places, they are vital to keeping property and land from being swept out to sea.