Report Warns Of Increased Tidal Flooding, Beach Erosion On North Shore
Crane beach has lost eighty four football fields worth of sand to erosion. Since the one thousand nine hundred fifties s this according to a new report from conservation group the trustees of reservations which sounds the alarm on how climate change is affecting. Massachusetts is north shore from increased title. Flooding. Beach Erosion WB our environmental editor Barbara Moran has been digging into reports finding joins us now to tell us about it. Hello Barbara. Hayden. Great to talk to you what are the key findings of this report Barbara So the report is interesting. It looked at thirteen communities on the north shore and really taking a deep dive into climate change risks in those communities seal of arise during flooding and even beach erosion like you mentioned one example that is crane beach, and as you said, it's like one hundred twelve acres have eroded from Crane beach since the nineteen fifties which seems kind. Of. Incredible and this morning I spoke to Tom O'Shea with the trustees. He's the director of Costa Natural Resources and he said those kinds of stats make you wonder like how much longer there's going to be a beach there right But even in the short term, they're already having issues with even the road getting into the beach, right? So here's a Thomas talking about that. Level rise is starting to flood the road the one way into Crane beach a few times every month now, and it's looking like it could become almost daily after twenty thirty. So that means three hundred, fifty thousand people who wanna get to crane beach, and they're not going to drive through flooded roadway two times a day. So, that is alarming what we know about the impacts on surrounding communities economically physically otherwise. Yeah it's a great question. So the reports said that about six hundred buildings on the north shore are at risk of flooding every day by Twenty thirty and by twenty seventy, that number jumps more than three thousand buildings at risk of flooding every single day. So you can imagine all the the real estate on the on the. Coast up on the north shore that just puts billions of dollars real estate at risk I'm also it's not just the money. There's a lot of really critical infrastructure and really sort of well known tourist hotspots and here's Thomas. Talking about that again. Stood, out to me because there were some real areas in the future along their built waterfront even the Salem state campus where there's likely to be some storm flooding. Very. Waterfront everybody loves to go down to the newberry waterfront beautiful area right with restaurants and shops downtown, and they're seeing you know real risks from storm surge from going up through the Merrimack River. Barbara I WANNA ask this as a conservation group with significant set of landholdings in the area, an advocacy agenda. So just checking is this a worst case scenario picture that they're painting or are these numbers fairly middle of the road so to speak. That is a great question to an always a good pressure to ask and. They do explain that in the report and they worked with consultants called the woods hole group and what they did was they use what they call the business as usual estimates for sea level rise meaning these are the estimates that we would expect to see if greenhouse gas emissions continue along as they are now. So they could end up lower potentially, but you know I talked to climate scientists a lot and pretty much they're saying that's a reasonable way to go, and so the the estimates are as fairly reasonable. So, while we have you, I also want to ask you Barbara About Boston city councillor, Michelle, wounds, city level, green new deal kind of what's in it, and how does it compare to national efforts like? Senator had marking Congresswoman Alexandria College her tenses. How does it compare also build upon Mayor Walsh's existing climate goals for Boston. Yet so Michelle, who proposes really interesting sort of localized version of the green new deal, and in some ways it it dovetails the national and state and mayor. Walsh's efforts of looking at things like Renewable Energy and how we're GONNA decarbonised the city how we're GONNA do a storm water and transportation how will use urban tree sedillo of hot. So everybody's kind of on the same page and talking about the same things. Some of the details are different like how fast we do things we whilst proposes free transit through Public Transit, which is you know more contentious among some people but overall I feel like it's the. Ambitious goals that a lot of people are talking about and what else? I. Liked about whose proposal is at she fold in issues of green jobs and environmental justice and structural racism and all these things that really need to be addressed along with the the climate change issues. So on the pandemic Barbara, some climate activists and environmentalists have been noting. Kind of how our response to the corona virus has lessons for how we respond to climate change. How have you been thinking about that? Right. So all the all the climate change folks are sort of scratching their heads and thinking about how do we you know we can get people to take strong action in their lives decided to have bending the curve. Benni McCarthy get the number of cases down right is their way to make people think about bending the curve on Climate Change said, if you act early, you can avert the worst causes. So I I feel like our reaction to the pandemic in a way has given. Climate people think about climate change given them. The hope that sort of real change is possible. Real change is possible to happen really quickly. But they're kind of hoping that we can make climate change decisions. Not. Panic mode right we can do things now. Instead of waiting till, there's you know a disaster staring us right in the face. Well, that's Barbara Moran Editor. Of Wvu, ours environmental team we're going to continue to watch this with you Barbara. Thanks for joining us today. Thanks so much for having me 'cause Yada.