Facing a New Climate Reality Means Retreating from the Sea

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | August 30, 2019
coast
Photo: Unsplash/Angelina Odemchuk

The impacts of climate change including rising sea levels and a higher risk of flooding are spurring a retreat from coastal and riverside locations around the world. Indonesia recently announced that it will move its seat of government hundreds of miles from its current capital, Jakarta, as that city is sinking due to draining of its aquifer.
 
In the U.S., thousands of homeowners in Houston have asked their county to buy their chronically flooded properties. A New Jersey town is moving residents out of flood-vulnerable areas near rivers and turning the land into a natural buffer to protect other homes. An indigenous Yup’ik community in Alaska has asked to be relocated after thawing permafrost beneath the village caused it to slide into a river.
 
Researchers from universities across the country have made the case for more “managed retreats” from at-risk areas.

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