Monday, November 15, 2010

Report from New York task force on sea level rise

PR Newswire: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ( DEC ) Acting Commissioner Peter Iwanowicz today announced the release of the draft report of the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force for public comment. ...

The State Legislature created the Sea Level Rise Task Force in 2007 and charged it with preparing a report to assess the state's vulnerability to sea level rise and developing recommendations for a plan to protect coastal communities and natural resources. The Legislature directed the task force to "evaluate ways of protecting New York's remaining coastal ecosystems and natural habitats, and increasing coastal community resilience in the face of sea level rise, applying the best available science …"

…The draft report includes nine findings and 14 specific recommendations for action. The findings include projections of up to 55 inches of sea level rise by the 2080s in some coastal areas of New York. New York Harbor has already experienced an increase in sea level of more than 15 inches in the past 150 years, with harbor tide gauges showing a rise of between 4 and 6 inches since 1960.

According to the report, sea level rise will have dramatic implications for New York's coastal communities and their natural resources. Every community along the Hudson River, from the Troy to New York Harbor, and along Long Island Sound and the Atlantic coastline will be affected. The report also found that the combination of rising sea level, climate change and continuing development in high-risk areas has raised the level of New York's vulnerability to powerful coastal storms. Without meaningful action, this vulnerability will increase in area and magnitude over time. The report also finds that all of the utilities and infrastructure systems upon which our modern society relies-sewage, stormwater, fuel storage, energy generation, communication, solid waste management and transportation- could become vulnerable to coastal flooding.

George McCord's "New York Harbor"

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