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Barrier islands and sea-level rise

Over the next 100 years, according to recent estimates, we should expect 5 to 6 feet of sea-level rise.

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A Sand Trap in the Gulf; By Robert Young, in The New York Times

Of the many cleanup solutions being pursued in the Gulf of Mexico, few are as ambitious as Louisiana’s berm project.

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Under Pressure to Block Oil, A Rush To Dubious Projects

In response to the widening disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, government officials have approved a plan to intercept the oil by building a 45-mile sand berm. But scientists fear the project is a costly boondoggle that will inflict further environmental damage and do little to keep oil off the coast.

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How High Will Seas Rise? Get Ready for Seven Feet

As governments, businesses, and homeowners plan for the future, they should assume that the world’s oceans will rise by at least two meters, roughly seven feet, this century. But far too few agencies or individuals are preparing for the inevitable increase in sea level that will take place as polar ice sheets melt.

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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Coastal Resilience

Adam Cooper, Oil Spill

With oil continuing to spill into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s Deepwater Horizon platform, Andrew Cooper reflects on natural and man-made crises, environmental threats and issues of coastal risk and resilience.

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MRSA: Bad Boy Bacteria; By Sharlene Pilkey

MRSA Bacteria

It used to be swimmers ear, (otis exterma,) and then it was swimmers itch (cercarial dermatitis) if you went to the beach, everybody got it at one time or another, but now there is a new bully bacteria hiding on supposedly pristine beaches world-wide.

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Plastic Pollution

The world population is living, working, vacationing, increasingly conglomerating along the coasts, and standing on the front row of the greatest, most unprecedented, plastic waste tide ever faced. Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land.

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Ocean Pollution and Ocean Polluters

Sea Garbarge Disposal

Did you know that it’s legal to dump trash in the ocean? Yes, there are limitations for what you can and cannot dump.

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Wave of Toxic Green Beaches, France; By Sharlene Pilkey

Saint-Michel-en-Greve, Brittany, France

With beaches and coastlines all over the world already under attack from sea level rise, pollution, mining, driving, seawall construction and human development encroachment, another menace is mounting an assault.

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More / Beach Of The Month

Colombia’s Tayrona National Natural Park: A Caribbean Coast Gem; By Nelson Rangel-Buitrago & William J. Neal

October 1st, 2017

Colombia’s Caribbean coast has a rich geological, biological and cultural diversity that is reflected in the complex coastal zone extending from the border of Panama to that of Venezuela. One of the most spectacular regions in both this diversity and scenery is the Tayrona National Natural Park (TNNP).

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The end of the world’s most famous beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

August 1st, 2017

All over the world there are beaches lined with condos, hotels, restaurants and the like, in high-rise buildings (i.e., skyscrapers). Such beaches are generally the nation’s premier tourist areas, important to the local people and the local economy and prime spots for national and international vacationers. The powers that be in most of these places continue high-rise construction and seem oblivious of the sea level rise.

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The natural bridges of Santa Cruz County; By Gary Griggs

June 1st, 2017

While most coastlines often appear to be stable and permanent over the short time span of our visits, and some are, there are many others where the materials making up the coastal bluffs or cliffs are no match for the forces the sea exerts…Over time, the ocean always wins. In baseball terms, Mother Nature always bats last.

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Sandbagging at the Shore: North Carolina’s Coastal Sand Bags and Political Sandbaggers; By William Neal, Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo

April 1st, 2017

The wonder of modern English is how social use of language expands and changes the meaning of words. Sand bag is a bag filled with sand used for temporary construction—quickly made, easily transported, and easily removed. Typically, sandbagging is the emplacement of sand bags to construct a temporary protective wall or barrier, such as a dike or dam to hold back flood waters , or protection on the battlefield. But the term ‘sandbagging’ has taken on an array of other meanings…

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Englands’ Jurassic Coast; By Gary Griggs

February 1st, 2017

In 2001, ninety-six miles of the south coast of England along the English Channel was designated as a World Heritage Site. This picturesque stretch of cliffs and beaches extends from Exmouth on the east to Studland Bay on the west.

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Beach cusps: shoreline symmetry; By Gary Griggs

December 1st, 2016

There are many strikingly regular patterns in nature that have long intrigued scientists and non-scientists alike. Beach cusps are one of these.

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Presque Isle Lake Erie, Pennsylvania; by Orrin H. Pilkey & Norma Longo, Nicholas School of the Environment Duke University

November 1st, 2016

Presque Isle in Lake Erie (one of the U.S. Great Lakes), Pennsylvania, is a recurved sand spit with seven miles of shoreline facing the open lake. As many as 4 million visitors enjoy this beautiful state park each year, in all seasons, for a variety of activities that include hiking, bird watching, skiing, and fun at the beaches.

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Bowling Ball Beach, Mendocino Coast, California; By Gary Griggs

September 1st, 2016

California has over 300 miles of beaches, those that most residents and visitors think about are the ones consisting of find-grained white sand. But there are also some interesting anomalies. One of California’s strangest beaches sits 30 miles south of the picturesque north coast town of Mendocino…

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Archive / Beach Of The Month