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Climate Change Puts Statue of Liberty at ‘High Risk’ Of Future Damage

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The Statue of Liberty is among 31 at-risk UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Thanks to the ever-present threat of climate change, NYC's beloved Lady Liberty might be endangered. A recent report by UNESCO, called "World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate," details the impending damage to famous sites as a result of climate change. Among them are the Galapagos Islands, the city of Venice in Italy, Stonehenge, and the Statue of Liberty, to name a few.

As one of the 31 case studies, scientists illustrate just how vulnerable the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, and the adjacent Ellis Island actually are. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the islands, causing serious infrastructural damage and about $100 million worth of necessary repairs. According to the report, this is just a glimpse of the serious damage that would be caused by rising sea levels due to global warming. This news should come as no surprise nor should it be hard to believe, especially for those who witnessed the catastrophe caused by Hurricane Sandy firsthand.

The 108-page report further details "the intangible cost of future damage to this international symbol of freedom and democracy" noting that this type of damage cannot be monetarily measured. These things are mentioned to say that measures need to be taken to address global climate change and protect our world sites—sometimes, prevention is easier than repair.