The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lake Borgne Surge Barrier was completed in 2013 near the confluence of and across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet near New Orleans. Designed to defend against a 100-yr storm surge, the 1,8-mile long flood wall includes three navigable flood gates. Organic material dredged during construction was deposited in nearby wetland habitats to enhance environmental conditions.
We believe it is time to stop using uncertainty as an excuse for inaction. The evidence is unequivocal. Climate change is happening. Adaptation of inland and maritime navigation infrastructure is vital, and the time to act is now.
The agreement reached at the COP21 meetings in Paris in December 2015 to limit warming to less than two degrees represented a significant step for the international community. Notwithstanding this agreement, however, climate scientists are in general agreement that the world is already locked in to further change in key climate parameters. If we fail to achieve the less than two degrees goal, things will get worse still.
The Navigating a Changing Climate Partnerships believe that it is time to stop using uncertainty as a reason for inaction. Scientific evidence is unequivocal: the climate is changing. Adaptation of navigation infrastructure is vital, and the time to act is now.
In addition to contributing to mitigation, it is therefore vital for the sector to coordinate globally and act locally to adapt waterborne transport infrastructure and the operations that depend on it to the changing climate; and to strengthen resilience – in turn reducing the vulnerability of the sector to more frequent extreme events. Such action will be vital to ensure navigational safety, to reduce downtime and protect business continuity.