Climate Change will cost coastal cities/states A LOT

This article was drawn to my attention by Commissioner Dick Byrne at the Rehoboth Beach Commissioner's meeting, Friday, June 21, 2019. Thanks Dick for looking out for our community.

The title of the article is "Cost to defend against sea level rise could overwhelm Delaware beach towns, report warns," by Maddy Lauria, Delaware News Journal Published June 20, 2019.

Please note subscribers will be able to read the entire article at https://bit.ly/2YexUUy

Here are the highlights from Maddy Lauria's article:

  • A new study by the nonprofit Center for Climate Integrity estimates that it would cost the First State more than $9 billion in the next two decades to build seawalls needed to hold back floods and tides under a modest increase in sea level. Delaware’s annual operating budget is about $4.4 billion.

  • The report released on Thursday found that coastal communities around the country will need to spend about $400 billion on defenses such as seawalls before 2040 to stave off rising seas and flooding that threatens public infrastructure like roads and schools.

  • Sussex County will face the largest costs to hold off rising seas, the report says. It estimates the county will need at least $4 billion to adapt to flooding. In Kent County, the cost is estimated at $2.8 billion and in New Castle County, $2.7 billion, according to the report.

  • Lewes, Fenwick Island and Rehoboth Beach will need to spend about $553.4 million in protective measures. In Wilmington, the fifth costliest town in Delaware, the price tag for adapting to rising sea level could be $78.4 million, according to the study.

  • In all, it would take 941 miles of seawalls along Delaware’s coast and inland waterways to hold off climate change-driven floodwaters, the center’s report found.

  • Researchers said small, rural communities will likely not be able to afford those price tags. State and federal governments may be able to chip in, but probably cannot afford to shell out the billions of dollars needed in the next decade or two to protect hundreds of miles of roads and public infrastructure.

To read the full report, go to www.climatecosts2040.org.

For more information, contact reporter Maddy Lauria at (302) 345-0608, mlauria@delawareonline.com or on Twitter @MaddyinMilford.