I live about 20 blocks inland from Santa Monica beach — which makes me fear I’ll be among the first displaced when sea levels rise due to global warming. Last week, I visited the east coast to find that New Yorkers have similar fears — enough so that the Museum of Modern Art’s currently got an exhibit to help address the issue.

Rising Currents exhibit at theMuseum of Modern Art in New York

447695690149476fec2f m Titled “Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront,” this sci-fi cool but apocalyptic-scary exhibit showcases five visions of New York’s more watery future — scenarios created by interdisciplinary teams in an architects-in-residence program at P.S.1.

MoMA visitors milled about the crowded exhibit (I visited the museum during the extra busy Free Fridays) studying small, model-scale future cities, reading about new and unexpected potential zoning ordinances, and measuring themselves against projected future tide lines like my friend Alison to the right. In future years, Alison will need to wear very high heels to breathe!

Rising Currents exhibit at theMuseum of Modern Art in New York

According to MoMa’s description, the teams behind the exhibit “re-envision the coastlines of New York and New Jersey around New York Harbor and to imagine new ways to occupy the harbor itself with adaptive “soft” infrastructures that are sympathetic to the needs of a sound ecology. These creative solutions are intended to dramatically change our relationship to one of the city’s great open spaces.”

Rising Currents exhibit at theMuseum of Modern Art in New York

The re-envisionings include everything from “Oyster-Tecture” that uses “wave attenuating” oyster reefs (video explanation below) to a Waterworld-esque metropolis that’s partially underwater.

Rising Currents will be on view at the MoMA through Oct. 11, 2010, so drop by if you’re a resident or have summer vacation plans that take you to the Big Apple. Don’t want to raise sea levels further by taking a carbon footprint biggifying trip? Learn more by watching the videos and multimedia on MoMA’s website.

Rising Currents: MoMA exhibit explores how New Yorkers will live when sea levels rise
Après Magritte, le déluge! New York's Museum of Modern Art dedicates an exhibit to a more watery, post global-warming New York.