Category Archives: Poor Coastal Development

Six square kilometers of Istanbul’s land reclaimed from the sea

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The Bosphorus, Istanbul. Photo source: ©© John Walker

Excerpts;

Six square kilometers of land have been gained from Istanbul coasts and opened for urban use by filling up the sea. With the acceleration of such infrastructure work at the start of the millennium, professionals are warning about risks…

The land gained by filling up the sea since 2000 accounts for nearly 2.6 square kilometers, or about the size of the total area of Heybeliada, an island off Istanbul, according to calculations and satellite maps…

Read Full Article, Hurriyet Daily News (09-12-2017)

Reclaimed lands in İstanbul reach size of a district; SOL International (09-12-2017)
The size of reclaimed lands in İstanbul has expanded much more in the last 15 years than in any period prior…

Impact of Land Reclamation on the Coastal Areas in Istanbul; Harvard, Adesab – EGU General Assembly 2015 (09-12-2017)

Beirut’s beaches blighted by the land reclamation and rubbish crisis; The National (07-29-2017)
Lebanon’s coastline is changing dramatically, with new planned landfill sites that will extend hundreds of metres into the Mediterranean that, amazingly, seem to bother few politicians. Many are persuaded that waste is inert though that is hardly the case with significant environmental damage that will leave an impact on future generations…

Dubai set to build $1.7b man-made islands Marsa Al Arab by 2020; CNN (05-18-2017)
Dubai is growing again, and again it’s building into the sea…

How Singapore is creating more land for itself; The New York Times (04-20-2017)

India: Govt plans to ease coastal rules, allow land reclamation for commercial use; India Express (03-22-2017)

How and why China is building islands in the South China Sea, NewsWeek (03-29-2017)

Indonesia’s contested land reclamation projects; The Sydney Morning Herald (04-05-2016)
There are more than 15 planned reclamation projects across Indonesia, including a $3 billion project to build artificial islands in the middle of Benoa Bay in Bali. This proposed reclamation has spawned one of the largest environmental movements in Indonesia’s history…

Europe’s Coastlines and Urban Sprawl; Guardian UK (01-24-2015)
Two French oceanography researchers expected to find pollution on their 8,345km, 14-month kayak journey from Gibraltar to Istanbul, but what shocked them was the endless spread of cities along the coast…

Land Reclamation at Rotterdam, Netherlands; NASA, Earth observatory (12-07-2010)

Land reclamation has harmed marine life: Survey, The Peninsula Quatar (03-05-2017)
Survey shows that land reclamation has adverse effects on coral reefs and fish quantity has decreased in the last five years in the coastal areas of Doha, Quatar…

Land reclamation plan endangers protected marine area, Malta; Malta Today (10-03-2016)

What Happens to a Coral Reef When an Island is Built on Top? the Washington Post (07-11-2015)
Seven such coral reefs are being turned into islands, with harbors and landing strips by the Chinese military, and it is destroying a rich ecological network. “It’s the worst thing that has happened to coral reefs in our lifetime…”

Learn More About Land Reclamation

India: Govt plans to ease coastal rules, allow land reclamation for commercial use

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Puducherry, India. Photo source: ©© Deep Hazarika

Excerpts;

Bringing in some significant changes in the way it governs its coasts, the government is moving to remove the ban on reclamation of land in coastal areas for commercial or entertainment purposes while also allowing tourism activities even in ecologically sensitive areas along the shores…

Read Full Article, India Express (03-22-2017)

Land reclamation has harmed marine life: Survey, The Peninsula Quatar (03-05-2017)
Survey shows that land reclamation has adverse effects on coral reefs and fish quantity has decreased in the last five years in the coastal areas of Doha, Quatar…

Land reclamation plan endangers protected marine area, Malta; Malta Today (10-03-2016)

What Happens to a Coral Reef When an Island is Built on Top? the Washington Post (07-11-2015)
Seven such coral reefs are being turned into islands, with harbors and landing strips by the Chinese military, and it is destroying a rich ecological network. “It’s the worst thing that has happened to coral reefs in our lifetime…”

Indonesia’s contested land reclamation projects; The Sydney Morning Herald (04-05-2016)
There are more than 15 planned reclamation projects across Indonesia, including a $3 billion project to build artificial islands in the middle of Benoa Bay in Bali. This proposed reclamation has spawned one of the largest environmental movements in Indonesia’s history…

Built on Sand: Singapore and the New State of Risk, Harvard Design Magazine (09-07-2015)
The island’s expansion has been a colossal undertaking. It is not merely a matter of coastal reclamation: Singapore is growing vertically as well as horizontally. This means that the nation’s market needs fine river sand—used for beaches and concrete—as well as coarse sea sand to create new ground…

Such Quantities of Sand, The Economist (07-27-2015)
Asia’s mania for reclaiming land from the sea spawns mounting problems…

Sand scarcity hits Mumbai’s first artificial beach project; DNA India (08-22-2016)
The plan for Mumbai’s first artificial beach off Marine Drive faces a challenge due to huge shortage of sand…

Tragedy of The Commons: Corrosive Growth of the Illegal Sand Mining Mafia, The Citizen (01-04-2016)
Not many people may know that illegal sand mining is a nationwide phenomena in India, and with spurt in housing and infrastructure projects, the illegal sand mining is thriving beyond the ambit of formal economy and law and order. Sand is everywhere and so is the sand mafia…

Disappearing Beaches of India; The Hindu (06-06-2015)
Beaches and coasts are amazing wonders of nature. India’s coastline stretches for around 7,500 kilometers. Yet, as much as 40% of India’s coastline is eroding at an alarming level…

From forest to beach, North Carolina

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Wild horse of the Outer Banks, North Carolina. This is one of the few places in the eastern United States where wild horses can still be seen. Captions: NPS Photo source: ©© Kinan Tait

Excerpts;

The Outer Banks is moving. For at least 4,000 years it has been steadily creeping closer to the continental United States.

When the wind howls from the northeast, standing in an unprotected spot near the shoreline can be a painful experience; granules of sand, pushed by winds in excess of 40 mph, threaten to strip the first layer of skin from one’s face. After the storm passes, sand from the dunes and beach is everywhere along N.C. 12.

Before the Outer Banks was a tourist mecca, before human intervention stabilized the beaches and roads and homes were built, that sand would have been pushed to the western side of the barrier islands and deposited…

It’s important to remember that barrier islands are gigantic sandbars. Unlike a true island, nothing attaches the sand to a rock or permanent core. Because of this, when waves wash over the land, sand is picked up on the ocean side, deposited on the landward side and the island migrates…

Read Full Article, North Beach Sun (02-24-2017)

The Barrier Islands: Islands in Motion; (08-03-2015)

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)

For Vulnerable Barrier Islands, A Rush to Rebuild on U.S. Coast; Yale E 360 (01-18-2015)

From the mountains to the sea: Coastal geologist speaks his mind

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Mantoloking, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

Coastal geologist Rob Young explains how the ocean is flooding coastal property and threatening to consume more land at a time of increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and extreme weather.

“We are trying to communicate science to decision-makers,’’ he said…

Read Full Article, The State (12-24-2016)

Green delight as Trump’s Irish wall plans withdrawn

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Waves at Doonbeg (Doughmore) beach, Clare County, Ireland. Doonbeg Golf Course Hotel can be seen in the distance. Captions and Photo source: ©© Wikimedia

Excerpts;

Donald Trump’s plan to erect a huge sea wall at his Irish golf course has been withdrawn in the light of stiff opposition.

The original application cited rising sea levels as a result of climate change as a key reason for the protective barrier…

Read Full Article, BBC News (12-06-2016)

Donald Trump pulls plans for wall next to Co Clare golf course, The Belfast Telegraph (12-06-2016)
The shelved project had been planned for the edge of the golf links where severe winter storms have wiped out metres of beach and dune in recent years. Mr Trump has said he is not a great believer in man-made climate change but cited global warming and rising seas as a reason for needing the wall…

Donald Trump firm abandons plan for €10m Doonbeg sea wall; but a new plan is on the way; The Irish Times (12-06-2016)

“Trump’s Irish seawall defeated;” By Save the Waves Coalition
“Under growing international pressure, Trump International Golf Links (TIGL) has rescinded their proposal for the 3km seawall at Doughmore Beach, Ireland.
The Trump Organization’s decision represents a remarkable victory for the Save The Waves and the local Irish group’ #NatureTrumpsWalls campaign. The campaign was successful in gathering over 100,000 petition signatures, sending a strong message to TIGL and the local decision-makers that there was vast global opposition to the project.
Apparently, they were listening…”

Donald Trump Wants to Build Another Wall in Ireland and Local Surfers Aren’t Happy; The Inertia

Nearly 100,000 protest at Donald Trump’s Clare seawall plan; Irish examiner (10-10-2016)

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young, (10-03-2014)

Lebanon: capital’s last public sand beach under threat?

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Beirut, Lebanon. Photo source: ©© Matthias Kihr

Excerpts;

Lebanese activists and residents of Beirut are concerned that a multi-million dollar resort near the coast is in breach of their rights to a free sand beach – which is the coastal capital’s last…

Read Full Article, BBC News (11-26-2016)

A City Without a Shore: Rem Koolhaas, Dalieh and the Paving of Beirut’s Coast, The Guardian UK (03-17-2015)
A development frenzy has wiped out the natural coastline of Lebanon, replacing it with concreted marinas and upscale resorts that are off-limits to the public. Now developers have their eye on the last bit of Beirut waterfront…

Lebanese shun pricey, polluted beaches for trips abroad; CTV News (09-28-2016)
In a country like Lebannon, stretching along the Mediterranean, finding a beach to relax in the summer, should not be a problem. But as private developers have gobbled up seafront land, and families complain of ever-more polluted waters, many Lebanese say it is cheaper and cleaner to fly abroad than go to the beach at home…

Whose job is it to save North Topsail Beach ?

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Topsail beach erosion, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of: “Sand Wars” Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac. ©2013

Excerpts;

The Atlantic Ocean is eroding parts of North Topsail Beach by about five feet per year. The town of 800 residents is running out of cash and solutions in its efforts to protect its north shore. Whose job is to save this popular North Carolina tourist destination?

Watch Video News, News Observer (09-29-2016)

North Topsail Beach Debacle No Way for NC to Manage its Coast; Op Ed By Robert Young (10-05-2015)
Is North Topsail Beach the most poorly managed beach community in the country? If not, it certainly seems to be taking a good shot at it. I have watched in dismay as the town has struggled to preserve a small stretch of oceanfront property at all costs. In doing so, officials have destroyed their beach and created significant access issues along more than a half-mile stretch of shoreline. Perhaps even more disconcerting is that this damage has been done with the permission of the N.C. Division of Coastal Management and the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission…

“North Carolina: The Beaches Are Moving,” A Video featuring Orrin Pilkey, PhD
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem…

Erosion Worsens at Topsail North Beach, NC (12-01-2014)

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young, (10-03-2014)

Seawall ‘Option’ Won’t Wash, Post & Courier, (10-23-2014)
Hard erosion control devices aren’t generally allowed on South Carolina beaches, and with good reason. Here’s why: Seawalls actually can accelerate erosion, often on adjacent property.

Sandbagged: The Undoing of a Quarter Century of North Carolina Coastal Conservation, Op Ed by Gary Lazorick (07-04-2011)
Rows of houses with overlapping sandbag walls create huge problems. The walls do as much damage to the beach as hardened seawalls. Removing the sandbags from one property potentially damages all of the others…

Shoot the Messenger: Carolina’s Costly Mistake on Sea Level Rise, By Dr. Robert S. Young, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines / Western Carolina University

Denying Sea-Level Rise: How 100 Centimeters Divided The State of North Carolina, by Orrin H. Pilkey (04-23-2013)

North Carolina Should Move With Nature on Coast, News Observer (01-05-2015)

Time to Get Serious About Protecting Beaches; Savannah Now (03-13-2015)
Much of the coastline along the eastern seaboard is composed of barrier islands whose geography is in constant flux. Some years, a particular stretch of beach will expand, maybe for 10 years or more. That same beach may begin to shrink, and continue to do so for years, perhaps even opening into a small estuary and forming a marshland, only to be reversed eventually. “Our bill will allow the baseline to move landward, but not seaward. The science and the common sense agree that this is the prudent course of action…”

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…

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…

Rising seas put brakes on developers’ march toward the ocean, SC

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Sand bags and beach erosion at Isle of Palms, Charleston County, South Carolina. Photo source: ©© Kevin Oliver

Excerpts;

Following years of debate, South Carolina took steps Wednesday to stop developers from building high-rise hotels, condominium buildings and other major projects close to the ocean after taxpayers spend money to renourish public beaches.

The S.C. House passed a bill that will close a loophole in state law that has allowed new construction closer to the ocean when renourishment projects temporarily widen the seashore.

While the legislation gives a short-term reprieve to developers at Kiawah Island and other places, the lower chamber’s action is considered a significant, long-term step to prevent construction farther out on the beach at a time of rising sea levels…

Read Full Article, The State (06-01-2016)

Access eroding to embattled Kiawah spit, study says, Post and Courier (05-31-2016)

Protect S.C. coast: No retreat from ‘line in the sand’; The Post and Courier (02-02-2016)

Seaward of Common Sense? SC Needs to Put an End to Building on the Beach; By Robert Young, PhD; The State (02-12-2015)
South Carolina’s beautiful beaches are a vital component of this state’s economy. Managing them wisely is critical to the health of the economy and to ensuring that state and local tax dollars are not wasted on futile efforts to protect homes needlessly placed in areas of obvious high hazard…

Developers don’t get it: climate change means we need to retreat from the coast, Guardian UK (15-03-2016)
It is preposterous to build in areas that are bound to flood. So why are real estate companies still doing it?..

Miami Beach Sees Rising Seas as No Threat to Real Estate Boom, For Now; Phys.Org (04-22-2015)

How Your Taxes Help Inflate The Value Of Coastal Properties Threatened By Climate Change; ThinkProgress (06-05-2015)

Californians Fight Over Whether Coast Should Be Rugged or Refined, The New York Times (02-09-2016)

Reuters’ Water’s Edge Report Part I & Part II (09-19-2014)
Despite laws intended to curb development where rising seas pose the greatest threat, Reuters finds that government is happy to help the nation indulge in its passion for beachfront living…

“The Beaches Are Moving,” A Video featuring Orrin Pilkey, PhD
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem…

We Need to Retreat From the Beach, An Op Ed by Orrin H. Pilkey

Access eroding to embattled Kiawah spit, study says

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Captain Sams Spit, Kiawah Island. Photo courtesy of: © Cecelia Dailey

Excerpts;

The narrow neck to Captain Sam’s Spit is disappearing, survey work has indicated. The dunes there aren’t tall enough to withstand a tropical cyclone of any real strength.

The findings could put a big hole in Kiawah Partners’ contention before regulators that the beach there is growing, and a road to its proposed development should be permitted. That means a bill up for a House vote in the coming week might be decisive in the near decade-long regulatory and legal wrangling over the proposed road to the development…

Read Full Article, Post and Courier (05-30-2016)

Captain Sams Spit, Kiawah Island; By Cecelia Dailey; featured on Coastal Care April-May 2016
Since 2008, concerned citizens and environmental organizations have opposed the development of Captain Sams Spit, Kiawah Island, South Carolina…

Capt. Sam’s and shifting sands, The Post and Courier (03-30-2016)
The dispute between those who would build houses on Captain Sam’s Spit and those who would keep that from happening has been festering for four and a half years. It’s been one step forward, one step back. Or one step backward and one step up, depending on your perspective.

Capt. Sam’s Spit road gets court go-ahead; conservation groups plan to appeal, SC, The Post and Courier (03-24-2016)