Coastal communities are threatened by rising sea levels and heavy rainfall hazards. Companies like ILSI Engineering have taken to engaging in coastal protection projects to minimize the damage caused by flooding and storm surges.
Threats to Coastal Settlements
Coastal settlements are exposed to storm surges, extreme rainfall, inundation, and erosion. These threats are exacerbated as people continue to engineer coastlines, alter river flow, and change sediment supplies. Climate change also contributes to the rising sea levels, warming temperature, and changing storm patterns. Communities along the coast end up suffering more as these natural hazards continue to worsen.
Flooding and rising sea levels can result in the closure of highways, saltwater flooding of neighborhoods and roads, and increased coastal erosion on beaches.
The massive potential for flooding and storm damage calls for increased protective infrastructure like sea walls, jetties, levee systems, and natural coastlines. Coastal communities can become less vulnerable and more climate-ready by protecting barrier islands and the shoreline. They can improve water systems and move people away from low-lying areas.
Benefits of Natural Ecosystems
Natural ecosystems like marshes, mangroves, and coral reefs can provide protection from catastrophes. However, rapid coastal development can destroy these systems and negate their ability to reduce flooding and storm surge damages.
The work done by the government and other organizations is not enough to prevent flooding and storm damages. Individuals can do their part in taking care of the coastline. They need to be able to recognize the warning signs that come from a degrading coastline and take responsibility for the resulting damages.
One can, for instance, report stranded or dead marine animals to the appropriate authority. People can also ensure they know about and follow regulations in place for outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and collecting shells.
The private sector and government agencies need to work together to rebuild the natural defenses of coastlines and increase protective infrastructure to reduce the threat caused by rising sea levels and storm surges.