A Dutch Approach to Sea Level Rise: U.S. Takeaways

GMA 460L - Senior Seminar Research Lab

Climate Change has the sea-levels rising and threatens coastal states around the globe. The North Sea Flood of 1953 devastated the Netherlands. As a result, the Delta Work Commission was created and set up dams, storm surge barriers, and flood gates. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management was subsequently created which consolidated spatial, water, and land management sectors into a single entity. The state of the Netherlands has since been protected from storms, storm surge, and rising sea levels. The United States is vulnerable on a larger scale to sea-level rise and storm surge but has not invested the necessary resources to mitigate such risks. Despite reeling from major hurricanes such as Hurricane Andrew and Katrina, that caused millions in damage and years of rebuilding, there has been no major change to mitigate the effect of such events. As climate change advances sea-level rise, metropolises of the United States are under siege. Currently there are no sure-fire ways set in place to protect the state in its vulnerable areas, leaving the population more susceptible to any flooding or storm surge. By learning from the Dutch and emulating their system of water and infrastructure management, the United States can begin adequately protecting the population.