Sea-Level Rise Poses Hard Choice for Two Neighborhoods: Rebuild or Retreat?

TakePart — STATEN ISLAND, New York— The first time I walked Fox Beach Avenue on Staten Island, in October 2013, the house at number 72 was still standing. Its windows were boarded over and the surrounding yards overgrown by a tall swamp grass called phragmites, which had advanced from the saltwater marsh at the end of the street.

When I returned on a recent Friday morning, a year and a half later, it was gone. The lot was empty save for a modest memorial: two small flowered crosses stuck into the ground at the center of the plot. Empty lots outnumbered standing homes all along the street.

“That was the first house to come down,” says John Jaieceki, who lives on nearby Mill Road.