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Source: Wikicommons

Coastal Cities Consider Waterfront Parks Over Sea Walls To Combat Flooding

By Kristin Hunt

Cities along the coast have typically relied on sea walls to keep the ocean out. These concrete and steel embankments mitigate flooding when storms whip the waters onto land, and they currently protect the residents of countless ocean-adjacent towns.

But according to Stateline, U.S. city leaders are reconsidering their flood defenses. Instead of sea walls, they’re increasingly opting for waterfront parks that welcome the tides in and pose less of a threat to local marine life.

The idea of opening the coast to stormy waters rather than blocking them with a large, solid wall is central to the Dutch approach to flood management. The Netherlands has long preached living with — rather than fighting — water, but the concept is now catching on in America. City planners like the idea because it gives them a better opportunity to divert the flooding wherever they want it to go, all while avoiding some of the issues that are typically attached to sea walls: Coastal erosion, soaring costs, and interference to turtle nesting.