"Coastal communities around the world are facing increasing threats from
tropical cyclones. Climate change is causing rising sea levels and bigger, more
Many coastal communities are pondering what to do. Should they build massive
seawalls in a bid to protect existing infrastructure? Do they give up on their
current coastal locations and retreat inland? Or is there another way?
In the US, the US Army Corps of Engineers has proposed building a 20-foot high
giant seawall to protect Miami, the third most populous metropolis on the US
east coast. The US$6 billion proposal is tentative and at least five years off,
but sure to be among many proposals in the coming years to protect coastal
communities from storms.
But seawalls are expensive to build, require constant maintenance and provide
Consider China, which already has a huge number of seawalls built for storm
protection. A 2019 study analysed the impact of 127 storms on China between
1989 and 2016.
Coastal wetlands were far more cost effective in preventing storm damages. They
also provided many other ecosystem services that seawalls do not."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics