Beach Houses Around the Country Are at Risk of Sinking, and Coastal Enclaves Are at War About How to Save Them – Robb Report

Broad Beach, Malibu, California "Rip Rap Under Attack" (by LA Waterkeeper CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

For some homebuyers, the fantasy of coastal living will forever outweigh the risks. But rising sea levels and shifting sands can mean getting closer to the ocean than you might have intended.

It was after a beachside housewarming party in Southern California that the neighborhood snitch was unmasked. Residents of the cliff-top community had gathered to eat lobster and indulge in a favorite local pastime: grumbling about coastal-protection rules that stop them from reinforcing the eroding bluffs beneath their homes under the theory that any hardening of the shore will exacerbate beach erosion. 

“A new neighbor had moved in and done this beautiful remodeling job on a house that was in a huge state of disrepair,” recalls one guest and longtime resident. “And he had this incredible party [with] music playing, and everyone had the most wonderful afternoon. Later we found out that one neighbor turned him in to the city because he found out he’d built a home office,” which the tattletale suspected contravened the area’s strict environmental regulations. 

The party guests were appalled when they saw the neighbor’s name on the official complaint. “We said, ‘OK, this Mr. Nosy Pants is in there, you know, having his lobster tail and his shrimp cocktail and meanwhile taking notes furiously,’ ” says the resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Soon after, others in the community realized the same person was also ratting on them to the authorities for unpermitted home repairs. 

“He ended up in litigation with several neighbors,” says the resident, who hired an attorney herself after receiving an inspection notice from the city during what she describes as a simple bathroom-retiling project. In a yet-to-be-resolved case, she’s suing the neighbor for harassment, trespassing and false claims. “This is how coastal homeowners live…” 

Beach erosion: Satellites reveal how climate cycles impact coastlines – UNSW Sydney

Collaroy Beach (by Mark D CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr).

New research shows coastlines across the Pacific Ocean may respond differently to El Niño and La Niña cycles.

Researchers from UNSW Sydney have analyzed millions of satellite photos to observe changes in beaches across the Pacific Ocean. The findings, published in Nature Geoscience today (Feb. 10), reveal for the first time how coastlines respond to different phases of the El-Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle…

Coastal residents fear ‘hideous’ seawalls will block waterfront views – the Guardian

Miami Beach - South Pointe Park - Atlantic Ocean Beach (by Jared CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

There were more than a few issues with a recent federal plan to wall Miami off from the dangers of climate change.

The $5bn proposal involved building a massive concrete seawall in the fragile marine ecosystem of Biscayne Bay. It included using taxpayer money to elevate private waterfront mansions, while constructing a wall through the middle of downtown and sometimes low-income neighborhoods…

USGS Remote Sensing Data Tracks Coastal Erosion from California Storms – USGS

Views of the Santa Cruz, California coast before (Sept. 13, 2022) and after (Jan. 5, 2023) the powerful storms of early January 2023. (by USGS, public domain)

The USGS has collected and released topographic data that show the erosional effects of the January 2023 storms on the coast for the Santa Cruz region of California…Comparing the data with pre-storm conditions mapped in September 2022 provide “before” and “after” perspectives of the effects of the January storms. These data have been released under USGS Emergency Use Data authorities for data that have immediate or time-sensitive relevance to public health and safety…