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De Blasio: To Save Manhattan, We Must Make It Bigger

$10B plan would combat rising sea levels
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2019 3:48 PM CDT
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at an event in Sioux City, Iowa, on Feb. 23, 2019.   (Justin Wan/Sioux City Journal via AP)

(Newser) – "Lower Manhattan will be secure from rising seas through 2100" under a $10 billion plan offered up by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The plan to "climate proof" the region involves extending a stretch of eastern coastline 500 feet, or about two blocks, into the East River, which is as ambitious a goal as it sounds. "It will be one of the most complex environmental and engineering challenges our city has ever undertaken," de Blasio writes in a New York op-ed. The land extension would apply from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Battery, as previously reported by Gothamist. The area—home to the Financial District, 90,000 people, 500,000 jobs, plus utilities, sewers, and subway lines—is now 8 feet above the waterline, per the New York Post, but area sea levels could rise by 4 feet, or perhaps even 6 feet, by 2100.

The plan to be enacted "over the coming years" allocates $500 million for "grassy berms in parks and removable barriers that can be anchored in place as storms approach," writes de Blasio. Ahead of a formal project announcement Thursday with climate scientists, the mayor hit hard at President Trump. "Nowhere in the $4.75 trillion budget President Trump just proposed is there anything approaching a plan to protect our coastal cities from rising seas," he writes. Citing the toll of Hurricane Sandy, which flooded 51 square miles of NYC, he adds, "We don't debate global warming in New York City. Not anymore." De Blasio revealed another effort to aid the environment this week. Per CNN, all city schools will have "Meatless Mondays" beginning in the 2019-20 school year in an effort to "improve New Yorkers' health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions." (NYC floods will become more frequent.)

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