Rising seas, increased storm surges will put NY’s coastlines at risk: Task Force

Nov 12th, 2010 | By | Category: Featured Story

The Sea Level Rise Task Force was created in 2007 by the New York State Legislature, to assess impacts to the state’s coastlines from rising seas and recommend protective and adaptive measures. The task force held its first meeting on June 27, 2008; its final report is due to the Legislature by January 1, 2011.

A draft report of the Task Force’s findings and recommendations was released on November 9, 2010 and is available for public review and comment through December 12, 2010. For further information and to view the draft report, please go to the link on the left entitled “Sea Level Rise Task Force Report.”

Why the Task Force is Needed

Climate change is resulting in increased rates of sea level rise, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report. Conservative projections of sea level rise by the end of the century are 7 to 23 inches, but some projections predict a rise of more than four and a half feet by 2100.

Rising sea levels pose serious threats to coastal communities and natural resources around the globe, altering natural ecosystems and affecting the habitability of coastal cities and towns. More than 62 percent of New York’s population lives in marine coastal counties.

According to the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment conducted in 2007 by the Union of Concerned Scientists, as seas rise,

  • Beaches and bluffs will suffer increased erosion, while the risk of severe flooding and storm damage will increase.
  • Low-lying areas will be inundated, with potential for saltwater to infiltrate into surface waters and aquifers.
  • Sewage and septic systems, as well as transportation infrastructure, are at risk from flooding and erosion.

via Sea Level Rise Task Force – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

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