New York is building a wall to hold back the ocean

  • Published: 10 June 2019
  • Climate change is leading to increasingly violent storms. Can seawalls hold back floods?

    Join the Video Lab!

    Staten Island recently received funding for a nearly 5-mile-long seawall to protect its coast. But the plan raises a lot of questions. We’re living in a dangerously dynamic world: Hurricanes are getting worse, wildfires are rampant in California, extreme heat is melting roads in India, and sea levels continue to rise. Will a wall really be enough to protect our coastal cities?

    Alissa Walker from Curbed talked to us about how it’s too late to stop the changing climate, but not too late to change how we think about infrastructure.

    Check out some further reading from our sister site,

    For more research and climate-related content:

    And for more on seawalls: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

    Watch our full video catalog:
    Follow Vox on Facebook:
    Or Twitter:

Comments • 2 761

  • Vox
    Vox   1 weeks back

    This piece was a collaboration with our sister-site, Curbed! Check out the original article here:

    And for more information on how to build a resilient city check out Alissa Walker’s piece

    - Kim

  • Federico Zorrozua González

    As an architect I have to say this a terrible solution. The wall will cost millons and it won’t have the capacity to be “””resilient””” in time, because its fixed and is not able to adaptate to the change of tides. It also harms the natural ecosystems that interact in the coast. (oysters, plants, birds). This infraestructural point of view was rendered obsolete in the early 2000, when landscape urbanism came as a new way of thinking the relationship of the urban with nature. Landscape, rather than infrastructure, is much more capable of dealing with the tide because of the simple fact that right now it’s already doing it. The city should invest in landscape architecture solutions that could mediate the relationship between the coast and the water in a more “soft” way, capable of adapting, growing and shrinking as needed. A wonderful example of this approach is the dutch project called Zandmotor, a huge mass of sand that is moved by the tide to where is needed and prevents flooding. I think building a wall is going back to modernism, and we all know how that ended. Hard infrastructure can’t deal with tides because it cannot respond.

    • Ronald Cates
      Ronald Cates  8 hours back

      Global Warming is a Hoax . . . Period 🔴

      • cd
        cd  8 hours back

        They preparing for invasion :P

        • J Squad Vlogs
          J Squad Vlogs  8 hours back

          Just drain the water and move it somewhere else . . . Duh 🙄

          • kakuella
            kakuella  10 hours back

            Building those walls are going to change the eco system there too.. Not sure what's more beneficial for long term 🙄🤔

            • Jim Gerop
              Jim Gerop  17 hours back

              Is the ocean paying for it?

              • ‘Moonshine&’Sunshine
                ‘Moonshine&’Sunshine  17 hours back

                damn... as a dutch person, this plan to build a wall is almost painful to see... at least they're also planning to use the wetlands. good luck ny!

                • Jarrod
                  Jarrod  24 hours back

                  Why do people live next to the ocean and complain about hurricanes?

                  • Another Guy
                    Another Guy  1 days back

                    Amazing. Keep polluting the environment adding to the climate change for the worse and build walls to keep the aftermath away instead of protecting it by signing that Kyoto protocol...

                    • Damien's Adventure
                      Damien's Adventure  1 days back

                      I like this informative video. :)

                      • COLLEGE DUDE
                        COLLEGE DUDE  1 days back

                        building a wall... something trump likes; not exactly XD

                        • daLi demo
                          daLi demo  1 days back

                          make mexico pay for it

                          • Fedir Kriviy
                            Fedir Kriviy  1 days back

                            Kim Mas is 😍

                            • Worrywart
                              Worrywart  1 days back

                              Wow, they're thinking of building a wall that might actually serve a useful purpose? Whatever will they think of next!

                              • Wes 0608
                                Wes 0608  2 days back

                                Most of people from NY think walls don’t work...

                                • David Dima
                                  David Dima  2 days back

                                  "Build the walls to protect the city is one thing"
                                  "But build the city to protect it self is another thing"
                                  You guys understand. *plastics*

                                  • Matt Keane
                                    Matt Keane  2 days back

                                    I guess walls work huh

                                    • Sean Bradley
                                      Sean Bradley  2 days back

                                      A 5 mile long, 20ft high concrete wall would have such a large carbon footprint it's insane

                                      • Michael Plessala
                                        Michael Plessala  2 days back

                                        We can’t build a wall! Walls are immoral and if the ocean wants to cross Staten Island’s border illegally, it should be able to! Ocean rights are human rights!!✊🏾

                                        • Ankita
                                          Ankita  2 days back

                                          Created the city on wetlands (occupied)
                                          Now eager to stop the ocean.
                                          Nature avenges in weird ways.

                                          • Etiti Yulolo
                                            Etiti Yulolo  2 days back

                                            as if a wall can do anything to stop the water...

                                            • Yuzu Aihara
                                              Yuzu Aihara  2 days back

                                              In situation like these, people who claim to have a solution tend to choose the easiest and most convenient option; erect a wall.

                                              • SuperKing604
                                                SuperKing604  2 days back

                                                Strategic retreat in a good option to basically pay people to move away from high risk areas. In the long run its cheap and effective

                                                • thomas is op
                                                  thomas is op  2 days back

                                                  every New Yorker would say to Trump that walls don't work hmmmmm

                                                  • gogzter McAll
                                                    gogzter McAll  2 days back

                                                    Aw aye when these lots harp on about how bad building a wall is. Now they want one

                                                    • EricG326
                                                      EricG326  2 days back

                                                      How racist of them...

                                                      • 《I S R A E L》
                                                        《I S R A E L》  2 days back

                                                        This is racist against the Ocean, we should be building bridges not walls

                                                        • David W
                                                          David W  2 days back


                                                          • Wade Wilson
                                                            Wade Wilson  2 days back

                                                            So you’re telling me Walls work?

                                                            • Dragongamer1301
                                                              Dragongamer1301  2 days back

                                                              Why dont you just drink all the water instead of building a wall. Smh

                                                              • I
                                                                I  2 days back

                                                                Trump’s second wall

                                                                • I
                                                                  I  2 days back

                                                                  Why don’t they build a wall in the most hurricane hit States like Florida

                                                              • Davis Edwards
                                                                Davis Edwards  2 days back

                                                                New York said walls are immoral

                                                                • Poppie
                                                                  Poppie  3 days back

                                                                  hope all people care in

                                                                  • NADINE K
                                                                    NADINE K  3 days back

                                                                    For me building wall is stupidity, it's not gonna work the wave just gonna hit the wall and the wall wont stay in long time it alson ruin the eco with all of life in the ocean ?! , aren't plastic already in the ocean and now chemical ,rock and cemen *such not a danger

                                                                    • C H A R L I E T H A R G I C

                                                                      HAHA THAT'S KARMA FELLOW HUMANS

                                                                      WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? THROW, BURN, DESTROY MORE.. U LIKE THAT RIGHT?

                                                                      • yb s
                                                                        yb s  3 days back

                                                                        water gotta go somewhere tho

                                                                        • Buffalo Herd
                                                                          Buffalo Herd  3 days back

                                                                          wait, did you just say that we need to protect Staten Island from flooding or it will return to its natural state of swampland? 2:55

                                                                          • Joe Knuckles
                                                                            Joe Knuckles  3 days back

                                                                            Did New York do environmental studies? Building this wall will kill the yellow striped mosquitos.

                                                                            • Seyyed Mohammad Ahmadi

                                                                              you guys are talking about billions of dollars when your military spends 600 billion annually

                                                                              • m yu
                                                                                m yu  3 days back

                                                                                02:06 damn

                                                                                • ToothpasteShouldBeTeethpast

                                                                                  Bro what if the sea goes around the wall?

                                                                                  • Ersin Avseren
                                                                                    Ersin Avseren  3 days back

                                                                                    Just call the Dutchies back..

                                                                                    • B ill M iller
                                                                                      B ill M iller  3 days back

                                                                                      Build the wall! Lmao

                                                                                      • MayReasonBeThyGuide
                                                                                        MayReasonBeThyGuide  3 days back

                                                                                        NYC: Builds a wall against a rising ocean and claims "Walls don't hold back anything"... Welcome to Sodumbistan

                                                                                        • Geraint Hughes
                                                                                          Geraint Hughes  3 days back

                                                                                          people have building sea defences for hundreds of years, its a good idea. Nothing new. Radiation GHE is a lie. Direct proof exists on my channel.

                                                                                          • Youtube Today
                                                                                            Youtube Today  3 days back

                                                                                            But I thought walls don’t work!🤔

                                                                                            • Es Gee
                                                                                              Es Gee  4 days back

                                                                                              perfectly appropriate that trump loving staten islanders are finally getting their wall