Creeping floodwaters threaten Washington’s cherry blossoms

Part of the sidewalk near the Jefferson Memorial is covered in water during high tide at the Tidal Basin in Washington, Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Decades of wear and tear from foot traffic, combined with rising sea levels and a deteriorating sea wall, have created a chronic flooding problem in the Tidal Basin, the manmade 107-acre reservoir that borders the Jefferson Memorial, home to the highest concentration of cherry blossom trees. (AP Photo/Ashraf Khalil) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials are claiming that Washington’s iconic cherry blossom trees are under a looming threat that requires emergency action.

Decades of wear and tear from foot traffic, combined with rising sea levels and a deteriorating sea wall, have created a chronic flooding problem in the Tidal Basin .

The man-made 107-acre reservoir is home to the highest concentration of cherry blossom trees. Twice a day at high tide, a large stretch of sidewalk next to the Jefferson Memorial is submerged by the rising waters.

Now the National Park Service, along with the Trust for the National Mall and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is undertaking a campaign to save the Tidal Basin. In addition to rebuilding the sea wall, the groups want to improve walkways and update security systems.

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