New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Wednesday unveiled a $10 billion proposal to extend the Lower Manhattan coastline by up to two city blocks to guard against rising sea levels and other effects of climate change.
The mayor explained in an op-ed published in New York magazine that the city would seek to physically construct new land over the next several years that would extend 500 feet and sit higher than the current coast.
The project focuses on the area between South Street Seaport and the Financial District, along the eastern edge of the borough, he said.
"The new land will be higher than the current coast, protecting the neighborhoods from future storms and the higher tides that will threaten its survival in the decades to come," he said.
The extension would protect Lower Manhattan from rising sea levels through 2100, the mayor said.
In addition, he said the city will pour $500 million into efforts to fortify other areas of Lower Manhattan with grassy berms in parks and removable barriers to be used as storms approach.
De Blasio cited the damaging effects of Hurricane Sandy on the city six years ago. The storm caused massive flooding and billions of dollars in damage, much of which was in Lower Manhattan.
The mayor argued the investments should be supported with federal money, and voiced support for the Green New Deal, a progressive environmental measure championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats face full legislative plate and rising tensions McCarthy on Dems' spending bill: 'The amount of money we spent to win World War II' On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda MORE (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats.
"Preparing for climate change has to be a national priority, backed by tens of billions in federal investment," de Blasio said. "Lives are on the line."
De Blasio is in his second term as mayor of New York City, having won reelection in 2017. He has not formally ruled out a presidential bid in 2020, and has visited early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire.