Rising Waters' Effect On Coastal Home Values In New England

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A woman looks out on Boston Harbor from Lo Presti Park in East Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A woman looks out on Boston Harbor from Lo Presti Park in East Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Earlier today, a king tide crested on Boston's waters. A true king tide happens once a year, in January, when the moon, sun and Earth are closest to each other. Today's tide rose more than 12 ft.

Rising sea levels in the Boston area raises the question of how today's tide compares to previous ones, and what the long-term impacts of rising waters and flood damage.

One area affected is housing. According to a new report, more than $400 million in real estate value has been lost due to sea level rise. Researchers from the First Street Foundation in New York looked at some 2.5 million coastal properties in New England and found that Massachusetts homes were hit the hardest — almost $275 million in lost value between 2005 and 2017.


Barbara Moran, WBUR environmental editor.  She tweets @MoranWriter.

Barry Bluestone, founding director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy and a professor at Northeastern University. He tweets @BarryBluestone.

Joe Rossi, chair and executive director of the Massachusetts Coastal Coalition.

Jeremy Porter, professor at Brooklyn College and a lecturer at Columbia University.

This segment aired on January 22, 2019.


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Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


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Barbara Moran is a correspondent on WBUR’s environmental team.



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