- 06 November 2012 | Environment
Superstorm Sandy washed away beaches and sent raw sewage and diesel fuel into waterways. The environmental impacts are tremendous.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimated more than 90% of the beaches in New Jersey and on New York's Long Island suffered erosion from Sandy, though the extent of the damage had yet to be measured. Restoring or repairing a beach can cost $5 million to $8 million a mile.
As we pause to consider those we have lost from Hurricane Sandy and focus on the immediate recovery efforts for those who have lost their homes, power, water and other life sustaining necessities, we are reminded of the real and devastating effects of major storms whose impacts may be exacerbated by climate change and sea level rise.
While the superstorm is an extremely rare event that cannot be directly blamed on climate change, our warming oceans are creating the latent potential for more frequent and more powerful storms.
When powerful storms combine with increased sea level rise and intense coastal development, they provide the ingredients for massive destruction, loss of life and major economic losses.
When the storm calms and it's time to clean up and rebuild, the Surfrider Foundation urges leaders to resist the urge to proclaim that we will build it all back but instead pause to consider our future with a warming ocean and increased sea level rise and plan for a coast of the future that is resilient to future weather events.
Visit and support the Surfrider Foundation.