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
To protect Houston and Galveston from future hurricanes, a Rice University-led team of experts recommends building a floodgate across the Houston Ship Channel adding new levees to protect densely populated areas on Galveston Island and the developed west side of Galveston Bay…
Comments Off on Attempt To Protect Houston From The Next Big Hurricane
High land prices, particularly in coastal areas, make reclamation a relatively ‘cheap’ option for many port expansion projects.
Comments Off on Beating land pressures
The explosive growth of cities worldwide poses significant risks to people and the global environment, predominantly along the coastlines, where urbanization has increased the most rapidly, dramatically and dangerously, a Yale study reports.
Comments Off on Growth of Cities Endangers Global Environment, Coastlines Being Most At Risk
Galloping capital flow into coastal infrastructure development will see a port built every 32 km along India’s 480kms’ coast. India aims to pour $60 billion into ports by 2020 under a drive to spur the fastest growth in more than two decades. The most serious and direct implication is aggravated coastal erosion, which will deprive local communities of the beaches on which their lives and livelihoods depend.
Comments Off on Proposed Ports Gravely Threatens Coastal Beauty, India
A Spanish law crafted in 1886 still governs development along Puerto Rico’s sprawling coastline, worrying activists and legislators who say the ancient mandate has allowed construction along ecologically sensitive beaches.
Comments Off on Puerto Rico coast still ruled by 1886 law
An Italian environmental group warned that mass tourism is slowly eroding the Venice lagoon, which it said is also threatened by major real estate development and an inadequate transport network.
Comments Off on Mass tourism threatening Venice lagoon
Men cannot build houses upon sand and expect to see them stand now anymore than they could in the olden times… Many developers, homeowners, and local politicians refuse to believe the evidence that the ocean’s transformation of the shore is inevitable. By Gary Lazorick.
Comments Off on Sandbagged: The Undoing of a Quarter Century of North Carolina Coastal Conservation
One of the most serious threats to life in the Mediterranean region, and indeed every part of the global ocean, is climate change. Climate change is already having an impact on the marine environment and this is likely to escalate swiftly, increasing seawater temperatures and coastal erosion, altering salinity and currents and causing serious declines in biodiversity.
Comments Off on The Mediterranean and Climate Change’s Impacts
Although the dune ecosystem is unusual, fragile and is protected by the “habitats” directive of the network Natura 2000, its conservation is very vulnerable to the proliferation of car parks, nearby buildings and inadequate boardwalks.
Comments Off on Coastal Dunes in Spain Threatened by Poorly Designed Infrastructure