Storm surge barriers, levees, and other coastal flood protection megaprojects are being investigated as strategies to protect U.S. cities against devastating coastal storms and rising sea levels. But these projects are large-scale and complex, often taking years to decades to complete and costing billions of dollars with long-lasting impacts on the economy, environment, and society. Additional layers of social conflict and other political factors also cast doubt on their status as practical climate adaptation options.
Dr. Paul Kirshen, professor of climate adaptation at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Dr. D.J. Rasmussen, an engineer and climate scientist who recently graduated from Princeton University’s School of Public Policy & International Affairs, will discuss the technical, environmental, economic, and political factors of why some coastal flood protection megastructures break ground in the U.S. while others do not, using Boston Harbor and Rhode Island’s Fox Point Hurricane Barrier in Providence–the first gated hurricane-protection structure in the U.S.– as case studies.
This free webinar is part of the annual Coastal State Discussion Series hosted by Rhode Island Sea Grant and co-sponsored by the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Institute, Marine Affairs Department, and The Policy Lab at Brown University.