Rising sea level


February 10, 2017

Climate change – whether due to human intervention or not – seems to be inevitable.

With it comes an increase in sea level and if you look at a topographic map (that’s one that shows elevation with contour lines) you’ll see that many coastal areas will be inundated with the rise of just a few feet.

According to an article in Bloomberg Business Week, “Nowhere is the rush to adapt to climate change more urgent than in Louisiana.” With a shoreline of 7,700 miles disappearing at the fastest rate in the country, and the loss of 1,800 square miles of land since 1932, officials are meeting as we speak to decide which communities to save.

As one resident said, “My early, early ancestors were kicked out of France, the British kicked us out of Canada back in the 1750s, and now Mother Nature is threatening to kick our people out of south Louisiana.”

While preparing for sea level rise and storm surges may seem fiscally impractical, there are companies capitalizing on the raising of homes. A 14-foot threshold is being used, with some homes lifted as much as 24 feet off the ground. When visiting New Orleans after Katrina, I saw at least one home sitting on floats with tethers to hold it steady against the tide. Looks good until you consider that at least one neighbor’s house will crash into it!

As Ron White said of hurricanes, “It’s not ‘that’ the wind is blowing, it’s ‘what’ the wind is blowing.” Enough said.


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