The sea level off New York’s coast is nearly 9 inches higher than it was in 1950.1 This increase is mostly due to the slowing of the Gulf Stream and New York’s sinking land, and it’s causing major issues. In places like New York City, solutions can be complex because of the city’s unique location, vast network of underground railroads, and proximity to other large coastal cities. With nearly half of the state’s residents living in marine counties, sea level rise puts New York’s people, resources, and economy at risk.2 There are already over 30,000 properties at risk from frequent tidal flooding in New York.3 The state is planning over $4 billion in sea level rise solutions, which include raising roads, fixing drainage, and building seawalls.
Sea level rise is speeding up
Although the sea has only risen by nearly 9 inches since 1950, its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years and it’s now rising by 1 inch every 7-8 years.1 Scientists know this because the sea level is measured every 6 minutes using equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.4
SEA LEVEL MEASUREMENT FROM BATTERY AREA TIDE GAUGE SINCE 1950