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
America is an aggressively coastal nation. While accounting for just 13 percent of the nation’s total land mass, coastal counties, including those along the two oceans and the Great Lakes, are home to roughly half the U.S. population, the authors noted, and 60 percent of civilian income…
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Bangladesh is probably one of the last places in Asia people would expect to see a thriving beachside resort with luxury hotels…
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Rhode Island’s coastline is in a natural and constant state of flux. The coastline is altered most during big storms such as hurricanes and nor’easters. High waves wash away or damage dunes that protect land further inland.
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The more the ice cap melts, the more methane is released into the atmosphere, and the more the climate warms. This phenomenon causes sea levels to rise, which is particularly problematic along the flat Florida coastline, where a 1-foot rise in sea level could cause anywhere from 10 to 100 feet of shoreline retreat..
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Bali Regional administrations face the gigantic task of tackling the continuing erosion that threatens the island’s already damaged shorelines and coastal areas…
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A jobs-starved town in southern Spain has sparked uproar by agreeing on a scheme to build 350 homes and a batch of hotels with 1,400 rooms on unspoiled land along a “paradise” beach, by the Andalusian town of Tarifa. The indignation is also a symptom of the damage done to Spain’s coastline in decades of unrestrained construction.
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The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to allow Pebble Beach Co. to build 90 homes in coastal Monterey County’s Del Monte Forest…
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Storms and rising sea levels could wreak havoc as defences that protect beaches and dykes are overwhelmed. According to the regional authorities, about a third of the Belgian heavily populated coastline is inadequately protected against flooding.
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A $2.3 million state project to widen a chronically eroding section of Waikiki beach with sand pumped in from offshore, will begin by the end of this month. Waikiki naturally has a narrow beach, and people have been adding sand to the shoreline to make it wider. The earliest beach replenishment projects are believed to date to the 1920s. The first well-documented case was in 1939…
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