Saving coastal cities from rising seas: Clough shares his New Orleans experience

Screenshot of Line//Shape//Space story on coastal engineering and sea level rise.

Sea walls aren’t enough to protect the world’s coastal communities from inundation as sea levels rise.

In fact, Georgia Tech President Emeritus G. Wayne Clough tells web magazine Line//Shape//Space, no single strategy will. It takes a combination of approaches, he said, work that civil engineers are and will be leading.

Clough is especially qualified to offer insight on the issue: He led the committee that oversaw reconstruction plans for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

“The sea-level rise of 2 to 2.5 feet will take 100 years to develop,” Clough told Line//Shape//Space. “Hurricane Katrina, 80 years from now, will be acting on a sea level much higher and more likely to overtop levees.”

Clough is featured in the piece along with the director of the Port of Long Beach and the chair of a climate change adaptation group at the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Read more of their perspective on protecting against sea-level rise from Line//Shape//Space writer Jeff Link.