Jersey Shore Development Failures Exposed By Hurricane Sandy

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Ortley Beach and Lavallette, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

Along the two-lane highway that threads this narrow spit of sand on the Jersey Shore, the Driftwood Cabana Club stands out as a monument to Hurricane Sandy’s destruction. Storm-driven waves ripped one building in half. A surge of water tore another structure from its foundation, knocking it on its side.

But the most striking feature of the wreckage laid out here is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean: The toppled buildings sit on the wrong side of the 10-foot-high concrete-and-rock-seawall that has protected the town for decades, scattered across a stretch of sand that is directly exposed to the sea.

How this exclusive beach club came to be constructed and expanded here, in one of the highest-risk flood zones in the state, offers testament to how New Jersey now finds itself seeking nearly $37 billion in federal disaster relief funds to repair the ravages of Sandy…

Many experts say Sandy presents an opportunity to rethink New Jersey’s future development patterns. Some argue that the most sensible approach would be to pull back from vulnerable coastlines and relinquish some real estate to nature. But already the pressures are building, from homeowners, and from municipalities hungry for property tax revenues, to put everything back the way it was…

ortley-beach-nj
Ortley Beach and Lavallette, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Read Full Article, by Chris Kirkham And John Rudolf, The Huffington Post

Sandy Reminds Us of Coastal Hazards, by Robert Young

We Need to Retreat From the Beach, by Orrin H. Pilkey