“The $119 Billion Sea Wall That Could Defend New York … or Not”

“A six-mile-long barrier would help protect the city from floodwaters during fierce storms like Sandy, but critics say rising seas make the option inadequate.”

“Picture a storm charging toward New York City, pushing a surge of seawater like the one that flooded the region during Hurricane Sandy. But this time, man-made islands with retractable gates stretch from the Rockaways in Queens to a strip of land in New Jersey south of Staten Island.

The gates swing shut. A six-mile-long wall blocks the deluge, saving property and lives.

The giant barrier is the largest of five options the Army Corps of Engineers is studying to protect the New York area as storms become more frequent, and destructive, on a warming Earth.

The proposals have sparked fierce debate as New York, like other coastal cities, grapples with the broader question of how and to what degree it must transform its landscape and lifestyle to survive rising seas.”

Anne Barnard reports for the New York Times January 17, 2020.