New York studies a gigantic marine barrier to stop flooding

The US authorities are studying the possibility of building a gigantic marine barrier in front of New York in order to protect the city and its surroundings from potential devastating floods.

The project is one of the five options proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers to safeguard the Big Apple from the increasingly frequent storms and more intense consequences of climate change.

According to The New York Times, it is the most radical alternative of those proposed by this agency and its main objective is to defend New York from a new Sandy, the hurricane that in 2012 caused huge damage in the city and left dozens of dead.

Its construction would cost about 119,000 million dollars and would take 25 years, according to the estimates of the Corps of Engineers.

The barrier would be almost 10 kilometers long and would be composed of a system of floodgates that, when closed, would be able to stop the advance of the waters towards the city.

The plan proposes to install the infrastructure in the outermost part of New York Bay, so it would be invisible from Manhattan and protect millions of people, in addition to well-known monuments such as the Statue of Liberty.

The plan, according to the Times, is however generating an intense debate among local activists who see it as the best option to defend the city without losing its direct access to the sea and experts who believe that, in fact, the concept could cause more problems than I would solve.

Opposites point out that the barrier is designed only to respond to major storms, but it would do nothing in the event of flooding due to high tides and could trap debris in the vicinity of the city.

In times of heavy rains, the New York sewer system is sometimes exceeded and ends up taking those sewage to the bay and rivers where the city sits, a problem that could be exacerbated with this barrier.

“We would basically be sitting in a bathtub with our own droppings,” Kimberly Ong, a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, told the Times.

At the moment, any possibility of building the infrastructure seems far away, since to finance it, the city and the state of New York, the neighboring New Jersey and the federal Congress should agree and, all, provide multi-million dollar items.


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