We flew right over lower Manhattan, and then over the barrier islands on Long Island’s south shore that buffer JFK airport. The view of lower Manhattan was fantastic. And seeing the barrier islands reminds me of what nature intended: that these islands remain forever wild, able to absorb the brunt of storms before they cause untold damage to the mainland. But barrier islands are very attractive to people who want to be close to the sea, and in most cases unless prohibited by law they are highly developed. The barrier islands are also right at sea level, which means they are vulnerable to the rise in water levels that are occurring as a result of climate change.
There’s a lot of valuable real estate on these barrier islands. Valuable for now, that is, while the structures are still above water.