It is the height of hurricane season. While we do not know every impact of this year’s tropical weather, one thing is almost certain: somewhere, someone will flood. After a community floods another thing is almost certain: community leaders will ask for money to build a levee.
Levees, flood walls, and other, “hard,” forms of flood protection are popular. Their construction is backed by billions of dollars in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, with more funding available in other federal legislation. These structures can be effective, providing a predictable way to reduce risks from rising waters, surging seas, and raging rivers. Levees also create an appealing mix of jobs, including white-collar positions in engineering, and blue-collar jobs in construction. However, these structures also carry serious risks, and building them can raise equity concerns. Given the Biden’s administration’s emphasis on addressing environmental equity, communities would be wise to address these issues before they build an earthen wall that would be hard to get rid of…
Click to continue reading Dr. Alex Kolker’s article in Newsweek
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