You may have read this from the Federal Report titled “The Cost of Holding Back the Sea.” The following shows us the national cost of doing just that. These costs are adjusted for a 1 meter rise.

Previous studies suggest that the expected global warming from the greenhouse effect could raise sea level 50 to 200 centimeters (2 to 7 feet) in the next century. This article presents the first nationwide assessment of the primary impacts of such a rise on the United States: (1) the cost of protecting ocean resort communities by pumping sand onto beaches and gradually raising barrier islands in place; (2) the cost of protecting developed areas along sheltered waters through the use of levees (dikes) and bulkheads; and (3) the loss of coastal wetlands and undeveloped lowlands. The total cost for a one meter rise would be $270-475 billion, ignoring future development.

We estimate that if no measures are taken to hold back the sea, a one meter rise in sea level would inundate 14,000 square miles, with wet and dry land each accounting for about half the loss. The 1500 square kilometers (600-700 square miles) of densely developed coastal lowlands could be protected for approximately one to two thousand dollars per year for a typical coastal lot. Given high coastal property values, holding back the sea would probably be cost-effective.

The environmental consequences of doing so, however, may not be acceptable. Although the most common engineering solution for protecting the ocean coast–pumping sand–would allow us to keep our beaches, levees and bulkheads along sheltered waters would gradually eliminate most of the nation’s wetland shorelines. To ensure the long-term survival of coastal wetlands, federal and state environmental agencies should begin to lay the groundwork for a gradual abandonment of coastal lowlands as sea level rises

EPA Chart Showing National Cost of Sea Level Rise

The report comes with his warning.

“Sea level rise is an urgent issue for coastal environmental planners for the very reason that it lacks urgency for some directors of public works. If state and local governments fail to develop plans to protect the coastal environment as the sea rises, the public will almost certainly call upon engineers to protect their homes in the years to come.”

So as we ignore the potential of having windmills blowing off our east side, we will be asked to pay increasingly more to fight back the sea. All this at a time when according to this man, we can least afford it.

As far as I know no one yet has tried to account for the additional cost required to build ourselves above oblivion, but in all fairness, that should be added to the Delmarva side of the ledger when it comes to debating just how much this proposed Wind Farm will cost us.

The answer…….ironically comes in the form of another question:

How much will NOT building an offshore wind farm……cost us?
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