A $9.4 billion sea wall for Delaware?

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Good afternoon everyone,

As Delaware and other states come to grips with the effects of sea level rise, we can expect to see some dire predictions.

One example came out earlier this year in a study from the Center for Climate Integrity, which partnered with Resilient Analytics. The message – Delaware needs to “build the wall.”

The center, which leans well to the left and isn’t talking about that wall, blames big oil for global warning and wants the Exxons and Shells of the world to pay up.

The study claims seawalls will be needed to protect the nation’s lowest-lying state. The cost – a whopping $9.4 billion.

That dollar figure is the equivalent to the two most recent Delaware state budget.A breathtakingly high price for a sea wall idea provides talking points for climate change skeptics who downplay possible dangers.

Meanwhile, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control begs to differ with the findings of the report.

According to a statement from DNREC, “Sea walls are generally only utilized in certain urbanized locations to provide flooding and erosion protection, but they are almost never used exclusively over a vast area because they are so much more expensive, and have other disadvantages, compared to alternative strategies.”

DNREC says the state’s current approach includes building and maintaining protective dunes. Beach nourishment and other types of protection will need to be considered and evaluated.

“DNREC’s Climate and Energy Plan, funded in this year’s budget, will be developed over the next 15-18 months and will address this issue among other topics,” the department stated in its response to the sea wall study.

One worrisome area is the stretch of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridorin Delaware hugs the river of the same name. The passenger rail carrier listed the stretch along the river as an area of concern. With the D.C.-Boston rail route next to I-495, a sea wall is a possibility.

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