For Vulnerable Barrier Islands, A Rush to Rebuild on U.S. Coast

Bull island, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina. Photo source: ©© Hunter Desportes
“Barrier islands are predictably hazardous locations on which to develop, invest, or maintain infrastructure. They are subject to long-term shoreline erosion, significant and devastating storm impacts, and rapid changes along inlet–adjacent shorelines.”—Robert Young, PhD, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Professor, Coastal Geology, Western Carolina University.


Despite warnings from scientists, new construction continues on U.S. barrier islands that have been devastated by storms. The flood protection projects that accompany this development can have harmful consequences for coastal ecosystems being buffeted by climate change…

Read Full Article, Yale E 360

Barrier islands and sea-level rise, By Orrin H. Pilkey, Professor Emeritus of Earth Science at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment (09-05-2010)

After Hurricane Sandy, One Man Tries To Stop The Reconstruction, Outside Magazine
Geologist Orrin Pilkey predicted exactly what a storm like Sandy would do to the mid-Atlantic coast and New York City. On a tour of destruction after the deluge, he and David Gessner ponder a troubling question: Why are people rebuilding, as if all this isn’t going to happen again?

Reuters’ Water’s Edge Report – Part I And Part II (09-19-2014)

From Coast To Coast, Vanity Fair (07-23-2013)
At opposite ends of the country, two of America’s most golden coastal enclaves are waging the same desperate battle against erosion…

‘Nuisance Flooding’ An Increasing Problem As Coastal Sea Levels Rise, NOAA (07-28-2014)
A NOAA study looks at more than 60 years of coastal water level and local elevation data changes. Eight of the top 10 U.S. cities that have seen an increase in so-called “nuisance flooding”…

Shoring Up the Nation’s Crumbling Coastlines, (01-27-2013)

Sandy Reminds Us of Coastal Hazards, by Pr. Robert Young

We Need to Retreat From the Beach, Op Ed by Orrin H. Pilkey.
As ocean waters warm, the Northeast is likely to face more Sandy-like storms. And as sea levels continue to rise, the surges of these future storms will be higher and even more deadly. We can’t stop these powerful storms. But we can reduce the deaths and damage they cause…

“The Rising Sea”A Book by Orrin H. Pilkey and Rob Young