American Society of Civil Engineers

Assessment of International Coastal Flood Protection Levels for Disaster Mitigation

by Darryl J. Hatheway, (URS Corporation, Inc., 200 Orchard Ridge Road, Suite 101, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 E-mail:
Section: Tools—Coastal Inundation and Flooding, pp. 341-348, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2008
Abstract: An assessment is presented on several international hazard mitigation approaches involving coastal flood protection measures and the respective levels of protection of each measure. The information obtained for this assessment supports the fact that the design and construction of the New Orleans system of flood protection to withstand only a 1-percent annual chance (100-year) flood event is not comparable to other similar projects. The New Orleans’ system of flood protection is significant to the economy and safety of Southeast Louisiana, but offers far less flood protection value than existing projects in The Netherlands and United Kingdom (UK). Examples of an appropriately designed hazard mitigation project for flood defense and public protection include the 435 miles (700 kilometers) of flood protection offered by 13 separate Deltaworks projects in the Netherlands along the shorelines adjacent to the North Sea, and the surge barrier and flood gate system in London on the Thames River.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Coastal environment
Natural disasters
Sea level