The Economics of Storm Gates

Robert O. Mendelsohn and 2 other contributors

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    Tidal gates have been in operation for centuries to block salt water from penetrating landscapes, while storm gates are relatively new. Storm gates block just severe storm surges while normally remaining open to allow salt water to move freely back and forth with the tides. This study evaluates the cost and flood benefits (averted flood damage) of storm gates on non-navigable coastal rivers and creeks. The study finds that only a fraction of coastal rivers should have storm gates. But selected storm gates are highly effective with long term benefits that are three times their cost. In the right place, storm gates can protect vulnerable low-lying developed areas from coastal flooding with a minimal environmental footprint.