A new report by the Climate Integration Center found that the best solution to address the problem of sea level rise in the United States may require the construction of about 50,000 miles of walls and barriers.
The researchers identified the potential for continued sea level rise across the country, using advanced modeling and data to show the myriad impacts on coastal communities.
To save the most vulnerable communities – cities, towns, villages and small villages – the United States will need to spend $ 416 billion to create about 50,000 miles of ocean walls and barriers over the next 20 years.
In other words, protecting coastal cities will be one of the largest infrastructure projects in human history, competing with the cost of building a highway system at the dollar price now, and for some smaller communities, the cost will reach $ 1 million per person, the researchers say.
“As only one example of the scale and seriousness of this problem, in 19 small communities, the cost of sea walls to protect property and infrastructure from a moderate rise in sea level by 2040 is more than $ 1 million per person, and it seems fair to say that it will not defend these communities even though all these decisions will be taken locally. ”
For most countries at risk, the study appears to reflect the most vulnerable American cities, putting Florida at the top of the list at an estimated cost of $ 76 billion to protect the nation’s waterfront population.