Poor Coastal Development
Developed coasts change natural beach processes. Even a single building alters natural movement of wind which can disrupt sand transport, movement of rainwater runoff, and negatively impact plants and animals. Aesthetically, development reduces the quality of visits by tourists and once development begins, more follows. The long history of beach development in Europe and the northeastern United States has resulted in heavy modification of, and in some cases total destruction of, natural beaches.
Development on coasts is in grave danger in the coming decades from the combination of sea level rise and storms. When coastal development is built too close to the shore, the results can be devastating as evidenced by recent hurricanes Ike and Katrina in the United States. Two simple concepts must be followed:
- Do not build a house that will be underwater in the next 50 years and
- Do not build a house that will be knocked down by a storm.
These two basic principles are seldom followed today and when they are not, the costs can be human lives and billions of dollars.
After a large storm strikes, rebuilding is often financed with public money. Once a coastal community has been developed, rebuilding efforts often focus on putting things back the way they were rather than making objective decisions about changes that need to be made based on the rising sea. Developed coastlines need to retreat from the coast to allow the beach to move. Coastlines are dynamic, but buildings are not. More information on this topic can be found at the website of The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, USA.
Map of North and South America shows increasing populations in coastal areas, which will expose 2.75 billion people worldwide to the effects of sea level rise and other coastal threats posed by global warming.
Surfing in / Poor Coastal Development
Environmentalists say New Jersey’s proposed new rules for coastal development would place more people and property at risk from future storms like Superstorm Sandy.
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The Us Congress will hold a hearing tomorrow, April 8th, on 9 separate bills that would remove properties and lands from the Coastal Barrier Resources System, and Robert S. Young, PhD, PG, will be presenting his Testimony on the issue.
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Goleta Beach is one of Santa Barbara County’s most popular parks. But imagine going to Goleta Beach Park and finding no beach. Seawalls cause sandy beaches to disappear forever. The unpermitted seawall at the west end of Goleta Beach is no exception; it must be removed to preserve Goleta Beach…
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Facing the reality of rising seas: Western Carolina University’s Robert Young talks about the way buildings impact coastal erosion.
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The Çıralı beach zone is a 18,297 m² site along the coast of Antalya Province, Turkey. Çıralı is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, helping draw tourists and foreign residents to the area…
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The Venezuelan government’s plans to develop tourism infrastructure on virtually uninhabited highly biodiverse small islands in the southern Caribbean have triggered warnings from environmentalists.
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A mistake made nearly 100 years ago is putting the economic heart of Hawaii in jeopardy.
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A line of decrepit cottages along what was once Seagull Drive in South Nags Head has stood for more than three years as testimony to long-running legal battles between the state, the town and property owners.
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Community leaders in El Salvador are opposed to the government’s plans to use foreign aid funds to develop the country’s Pacific coastline, on the grounds that it would threaten the environment in a vast area.
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