The National Mall Tidal Basin is under threat. Home to the Jefferson Memorial and famed cherry trees— and the newer memorials to Martin Luther King and FDR—this iconic space in Washington, D.C., faces frequent flooding due to rising sea levels and other factors.
That's why the National Trust for Historic Preservation just launched a multi-year campaign to save it.
Silt and water from the nearby Potomac Flats make the Tidal Basin unstable, and the conditions they create compromise the site's historic structures and visitor experiences. Each day at high tide, water floods the surrounding sidewalks, making a stroll under the cherry trees impossible.
Worse, these floodwaters are endangering the roots of the cherry trees, which are in full bloom as you read this.
Other issues include perimeter and safety challenges, substandard visitor facilities, and inadequate interpretation. Chronic underfunding of the National Park Service maintenance budget compounds these issues.