Like the waves that crash on its beaches, time after time over its 100-year history Coney Island and its amusement parks have been razed to the ground by fire and flood, only to rise like a phoenix from the ashes and return bigger and better than ever.
I asked one future biochemist what she thought about NYU's environmental program. Her bright young face turned sour as she complained that her environmental studies were dominated by disaster science. Where was the hope, she wanted to know?
This is Seaside Heights now. A roller-coaster ride is in the water. Piers are in pieces, washed away. Plywood is slapped across the same businesses that were open a year ago, serving the throngs that packed this place when the Polar Bear Plunge came and went a year ago.
Flooded subway stations in New York City. Earthquake damage in the Nation's Capital. The great city of New Orleans under water. These scenes, once seemingly out of science fiction, are all too real today. This is why I am introducing the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2013 in Congress.