As coastal flooding increases, some port cities plan to pull out

Sunny Floods in Downtown Miami (Public Domain)

Posted on Jul 18, 2021 4:30 PM by

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[By A.R. Siders and Katherine Mach]

When the tide is unusually high in Charleston, South Carolina, the coastal streets begin to fill with seawater. Some backyards become ponds and residents don rain boots.

The city also receives a lot of rain. After homes in a low-lying neighborhood were flooded three times in four years, the city offered to buy 32 flood-prone townhouses and turn the land into open space that can be used to manage future ones. flood waters. It’s a strategy coastal cities from Virginia to California are considering more often as tidal flooding increases with rising sea levels.

Cities along the US coast have seen an increase in the number of flood days at high tide. In 2021, U.S. coasts are expected to experience an average of three to seven days of flooding at high tide, increasing to 25-75 days by mid-century, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns in its annual flood outlook at high tide, published July 14. , 2021.

Charleston’s low elevation saw a record 14 days of high tide flooding in 2020, and parts of the city have even more flood days. The city is considering new dikes to protect itself from hurricanes and other measures to try to keep tides and storms from entering threatened neighborhoods. But he has also started helping residents move away from high-risk areas. This is a strategy known as managed retirement – the deliberate movement of people, buildings and other infrastructure away from very dangerous places.

Controlled withdrawal is controversial, particularly in the United States. But it’s not just about moving – it’s about adapting to change and building safer communities, meeting long-neglected needs, and incorporating new technologies and thoughtful design for living and work in today’s world.

We discuss in a special issue of the journal Science this managed retreat is an opportunity to preserve the essentials while rethinking high-risk areas in a way that is better for everyone.

What a managed retirement can look like

General Oliver P. Smith of the United States Marine Corps said of a retreat he led during the Korean War: “Retreat! Hell! We’re just moving in a different direction. Much like General Smith’s maneuver, retreating from the dangers of climate change is all about choosing a new direction.

Controlled withdrawal could involve turning streets into canals in coastal towns. This could mean buying and demolishing flood-prone properties to create open spaces for stormwater parks that absorb heavy rains or retention ponds and pumping stations.

Managed retirement is part of a coping toolkit. Elena Hartley

In some cases, managed retirement may involve building denser, more affordable housing designed to stay cool, while leaving open spaces for recreation or agriculture that can also reduce heat and soak up stormwater in the event. of need.

Managing retirement well is a challenge. It affects many people – residents who move, their neighbors who stay and the communities they move to – and each can be affected differently. Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, moved its flood-prone business district in the late 1970s and used the opportunity to heat new buildings with solar energy, earning it the nickname ” Solar village ”. The move has revitalized the local economy; yet while the project is hailed as a success, some residents still miss the old town. For managed retirement to be a viable strategy, relocation plans must not only help people move to safer ground, but also meet their needs. It can involve a wide range of social issues, including cultural practices, affordable housing, building codes, land use, jobs, transportation, and public services.

Since high-risk areas are often home to low-income communities and black, indigenous and other communities of color, addressing climate risk in these areas may also require addressing a national legacy of racism, of segregation and disinvestment that has put these communities at risk and left many little options for dealing with floods, fires and other dangers.

In its simplest form, a managed retirement can be a lifeline for families who are tired of the emotional and financial stress of rebuilding after floods or fires, but cannot afford to sell their home at a loss or don’t want to sell and put another family at risk.

Talking about managed retirement

Even if an individual or community decides not to opt out, thinking critically and talking openly about a managed retreat can help people understand why it is important to stay in place and what risks they are prepared to face. to stay.

Losses from moving can be obvious, including the cost, but there are also losses in staying put: physical risk of future dangers, increased emotional and financial stress, potential loss of community if some residents or businesses leave to find safer ground, the pain of seeing the environment change and the lost opportunities to improve.

If people can explain why it’s important to stay still, they can make better plans.

Maybe it’s important to stay because a building is historic and people want to protect that history. It opens up creative conversations about how people have preserved historic buildings and sites at risk. And he invites others to help document this heritage and educate the community, perhaps through oral histories, video recordings, or 3D models.

Perhaps it is important that the owners stay because the land has been in the family for generations. This could start conversations with the next generation about their goals for the land, which may include preservation but may also include changes.

Perhaps a deep emotional attachment to a community or home could make a person want to stay. Conversations could be about moving nearby – to a new, safer home but still part of the community – or about physically moving the house to a safer location. It could also mean finding strategies, like life estates, that allow people to stay in their homes as long as they want, but prevent a new family from moving in and putting their children at risk.

If staying seems important because the local economy depends on the beach, it could start a conversation about why stepping back from the beach may be the best way to save the beach and its ecosystem, preventing the walls from being washed away. narrow and maintain public access without stilt houses hovering above the tide.

Thinking carefully about which parts of our lives and communities should stay the same opens up space to think creatively about which parts should or could change.

AR Siders is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Disaster Research at the University of Delaware.

Katharine Mach is Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Miami.

This article is courtesy of The Conversation and can be found in its original form here.

The conversation

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.


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Five major seaside resorts within three hours of Derby

As the country prepares to enjoy a glorious weekend under a scorching sun, perhaps now is the perfect time to take a trip to the seaside.

Temperatures are expected to climb to nearly 30 ° C over the next two days, with the Met Office predicting a high of 29 ° C in Derby on Saturday July 17.

Although Derby is about as far from the sea as you can get, some pretty coastal towns are within a three hour drive.

Many popular destinations are also accessible via a train ride taking less than three hours from Derby Midland station.

So here at Derbyshire Live we’ve put together a list of five beach resorts not far from the city, all of which have some great beaches.

Bridlington



Bridlington is home to sandy beaches and award-winning boardwalks

The coastal town of Yorkshire is home to sandy beaches and award-winning walks.

North Beach is a Quality Coast Award winning sand and pebble beach surrounded by wide boardwalks backing onto the cliffs of Flamborough.

While South Beach is a sandy beach that overlooks Bridlington Bay, the sand extending to Spurn Point at the mouth of the Humber River.

While in Bridlington, visitors can grab a bite to eat at a wide range of traditional restaurants.

Kilometers from Derby: 109

By car: Two hours, 12 minutes

By train: Two hours and 48 minutes – Travel from Derby to Bridlington, with changes in Sheffield and Hull

Cleethorpes



Beach goers soak up the sun in Cleethorpes
Beach goers soak up the sun in Cleethorpes

The golden sands of Cleethorpes Beach in North East Lincolnshire stretch for miles.

The beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for its cleanliness, while the flowered promenade gardens run the length of the resort.

There’s also a dog-friendly sand area, and don’t forget to sample some fresh fish and chips in nearby Grimsby.

Kilometers from Derby: 99

By car: One hour, 45 minutes

By train: Two hours, 28 minutes – Journey from Derby to Cleethorpes, with a change in Sheffield

Formby



The dunes of Formby Point
The dunes of Formby Point

Formby Beach is one of Merseyside’s coastal gems. The high sand dunes offer stunning views of the Irish Sea, and on a very clear day the Cumbrian mountains can be seen.

Ideal for families, there are picnic areas, marked trails to the beach, and woods to explore.

If you fancy exploring more off the beaten track, a drive south through Ravenmeols Sandhills will reward you with vast expanses of dunes, even more beach and lovely forests.

Kilometers from Derby: 102

By car: Two hours, six minutes

By train: Three hours, 20 minutes – ride from Derby to Formby, with two or three changes

Heacham



The south beach of Heacham
The south beach of Heacham

The village of West Norfolk has been a seaside resort for over 150 years.

The north and south beaches of the village face west and overlook a huge 32 km bay.

Heacham is also famous for being at the heart of Norfolk’s lavender industry.

Kilometers from Derby: 108

By car: Two hours 28 minutes

Scarborough



Stunning North Bay in Scarborough
Stunning North Bay in Scarborough

One of England’s first and most famous seaside resorts, Scarborough is home to two bays with sandy beaches separated by a promontory bearing the 12th-century Scarborough Castle.

North Bay has Blue Flag status and offers a sheltered location for families. Attractions include the Miniature Railway, Sealife & Marine Sanctuary, and Peasholm Park.

Much of the older part of town is around the harbor area and South Bay Beach, a popular area with plenty of game rooms, theaters, and cafes.

Kilometers from Derby: 118

By car: Two hours 22 minutes

By train: Two hours, 47 minutes – Travel from Derby to Scarborough, with a change in York

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Cruises return and bring more tourists to port cities

GALVESTON, téx. – People are hungry to see their cities come to life with summer travelers, and now that cruises start sailing again over the holiday weekend, it looks like travel is back.

If you visit Galveston, Texas, it’s easy to see: Summer vacation is in full swing, even before the cruises take off.

“Right now it’s just packed. They are wall-to-wall people, ”said Rodger Rees, CEO of the Port of Galveston.

Travelers enjoy it, and family businesses thrive.

“I don’t even know how this place can get busier, but I think it’s going to be great,” said Gracie Bassett, who runs Gracie’s gift shop with her family.

“My parents have had Gracie’s for 24 years and they’ve been in the retail business for 29 years,” Bassett said. “I just grew up in the store.”

They feared COVID-19 could cut this family legacy short, but this stop for trinkets and treasures never stopped.

“Because Galveston is so close to Houston, it is one of the fourth largest cities in the country. People could drive, and they just wanted to get away from the COVID madness, so they were coming to the beach, ”Bassett said.

Her family has been so busy that they were able to expand and open a second store just down the street. But, the success here contrasts sharply with the void a few blocks away.

“From a cruise perspective, we’ve been really hurt,” Rees said. “We’ve, we’ve lost about $ 44 million in revenue in the last 16 months.”

Galveston’s biggest attraction has been docked for over a year. The companies supporting the cruise industry have also nearly sunk.

“We were still inactive and it was very hard on us,” said Jason Hayes, owner of several cruise parking lots in Galveston.

The business he built with his mother since 2003 has barely survived. He said he always saved money for rainy days and was grateful that he was able to build on that over the past year.

“We haven’t shut down our Comcast. We didn’t stop our insurance on our buses, ”said Hayes. “We continued to pay our bills. If we had known we were going to be shutting down for 16 months, you know, I probably would have sold my buses.

But this man, just like this city, lives and breathes cruising. He even got married on a boat.

“It’s what we do. It’s who we are. We’re a cruise ship parking family,” Hayes said.

This love kept her hope alive that the ships would return.

“You can feel it. It’s in the air. People are getting ready. People are calling. People are excited, ”said Hayes.

Cruises are expected to take off throughout July, with more ships docked in Galveston in the coming months.

But, this time off the cruise, travelers across the country have shown: there’s more here than just a port.

“What proves it is when you go out and see the cars and you see Oklahoma, you see Michigan, you see Kansas, you see Iowa,” Rees said of the tourists here. from different states coming just to enjoy the beach.

“Galveston is so rich in history and it’s kind of like, you know, little New Orleans, it’s got a lot of character. So, you know, there’s a lot of upside potential here, ”Rees said.

Because even when the cruises return, these families still want travelers to come and stay where they call home.


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