Date of Award

Fall 12-23-2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John Van Buren


Sea levels have been rising steadily due to earth’s increasing surface temperature, and they are becoming extremely detrimental to coastal areas, such as New York City. This paper addresses the negative impacts that sea level rise will have on coastal communities and psychological damage it may cause. Additionally, it will discuss sustainable design that will allow these communities to adapt to and mitigate the issue of sea level rise, as well as other policy recommendations to further combat this issue. The introduction illustrates the reality of the citizens of these coastal communities and how their homes and jobs are at risk of disappearance. Chapter one further addresses the causes of rising sea levels and temperature increases, as well as provides a synopsis of the levels and projections at our current rate of environmental change, based on data regarding ice melt, sea level rise, and superstorms. Chapter two provides an analysis of history of sea level rise in New York City and the policies already in place. Chapter three focuses on the sociological and psychological impacts on the communities and how detrimental climate change can be to their mental health Chapter four includes aspects of sustainable design that will allow coastal communities to combine adaptation and mitigation tactics to both protect against sea level rise and reduce their impact. Chapter five discusses policy recommendations that I believe could help prevent the loss of these coastal communities.