Design firms creating plans to re-imagine D.C.’s tidal basin

Area including National Mall is facing increased flood risk.

March 06, 2020 |

Courtesy Pixabay

Washington, D.C.’s Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees, is facing an increased risk of flooding.

The area not only faces higher tides due to sea-level rise, but the land itself is also sinking. The National Mall lies in a 100-year flood plain, and the walkway near the Jefferson Memorial already floods at high tide most every day. During extreme storms, flooding worsens.

Five design firms are preparing plans to cope with these threats. Options for the area include converting some pathways into bridges, and creating some new wetlands. Doing nothing is not an option, according to the executive vice president of the Trust for the National Mall. The risk is becoming too great for that.

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