Featured Image Credit: AP Photo/Mic Smith
Did you know that about 175 years ago, the mayor of Charleston, South Carolina offered a $100 gold medal to whoever could solve the city’s issue of coastal flooding?
It’s now 2018. No medal was ever awarded, which means the problem was never solved. Today, Charleston is a city where rising sea levels have near-daily consequences. Tidal flooding has increased over 200% in the last 20 years and the sea level has risen over 6 inches nationally since 1950. The Charleston peninsula that sticks out towards the Atlantic Ocean has largely expanded by filling in creeks and marshes. This leaves the streets susceptible because the water has nowhere else to go. Even on the sunniest days, the streets of Charleston can be flooded due to high tides.
These tidal floods are happening beyond the streets of Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a problem up and down the East and Gulf Coast. Tidal floods are often just a foot or two deep, but they can stop traffic, swamp homes, damage cars, kill lawns and forests, and poison wells with salt.
There is no doubt that more needs to be done about this issue before it’s too late.