The Regional Planning Association is renewing its call for a coastal commission that could bridge the gap between neighborhoods, local, and federal government when it comes to working together to create a proactive approach to rising sea level in the areas most impacted.
“Over the course of the next 30 years sea level is predicted to rise as much as two feet and the rate of change is increasing,” writes the RPA. “This means all of our region’s major airports and shipping ports, 70% of the region’s waste water treatment plants, half of the region’s power plants, nearly 25% of the region’s public housing units and 12% of the region’s hospital beds will soon be in areas that will be flooded more frequently” (in this case, the region includes New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut).
“Today, when a big storm comes, various small communities have to scramble to coordinate between local, state, and federal entities that have responsibilities for portions of the coastline,” notes the RPA in “The Case for a Regional Coastal Commission.” “In between storms, they’re largely on their own.”
With a Regional Coastal Commission in place, representation from all three states would be present within the group, along with environmental experts, to create a regional coastal adaptation plan that would determine the areas that are at risk from flooding. From there, the commission would “evaluate, prioritize, and potentially fund projects along the coastline.” The commission would also look into improving infrastructure and planning for the safety of residents who live in areas at risk.
Get the full scoop on the importance of a Regional Coastal Commission in the video below: