In debate over $119B sea wall to protect NYC from superstorms, Trump says ‘get your mops’

Posted On Tue, January 21, 2020 By

Posted On Tue, January 21, 2020 By In Green Design, Landscape Architecture, Policy, Technology

Flooded Battery Park Tunnel after Hurricane Sandy. Image: Timothy Krause via Flickr.

barrier wall proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers as one of several options being evaluated to shield the New York area from rare storms–which may well become less rare and more destructive with global warming–is the subject of a heated debate among planners and environmental experts. Supporters suggest that a barrier be constructed in the outer New York Harbor where it’s mostly hidden from view, saying it would go the farthest in protecting people, land and valuable landmarks along the waterfront from a storm surge. Others fear the idea is a short-sighted measure that doesn’t address major climate threats–and could even worsen matters by trapping sewage and toxins during flooding from high tides and storm runoff. President Donald Trump, however, remains the sole proponent of the mop-and-bucket approach, as the New York Daily News reports.

In reaction to a New York Times story on the planned wall, Trump tweeted that the idea was a “costly, foolish & environmentally unfriendly idea” adding that “It will also look terrible. Sorry, you’ll just have to get your mops & buckets ready!”

The ordinarily pro-wall president and New York native somewhat ironically finds the idea of a costly barrier wall unpalatable and thinks that it “probably won’t work anyway.”

The Corps has estimated that the project would cost $119 billion, and–between New York City, New York State, New Jersey and Congress–it is still unclear how the project, which would take 25 years to build, would be funded. Opponents say that even if all went according to plan, the structure could be obsolete within a few decades because estimates of future sea levels are too low.

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