Raising houses may or may not be enough as oceans rise. What about the ground-level and below ground infrastructure around such homes? Will we need to raise public infrastructure and entire islands?
A thoughtful treatment of the issue by Sarah Watson in this Press of Atlantic City article December 8, 2013. It references a 1990 study by James Titus at EPA, a summer-homeowner on Long Beach Island, NJ who works at EPA and makes a case study of LBI. It prompted us to add the study to our “More Information” Page, see the bottom of the page here.
We are big fans of dunes here, preferably the natural ones, and well vegetated. But even the Army Corps dunes built during beachfills and replenishment provide some measure of protection. The problem is not all Army Corps beachfill projects include dunes. This Op-Ed from the Asbury Park Press Dec 11, 2012 asks why. So should you.
Reporters and politicians, or we should say reporters following politicians, love to run out on to the beach after major storms and declare the beaches are eroding and therefore need replenishing. It happens every time and Hurricane Sandy was no exception. This Associated Press article by Wayne Parry from November 20, 2012 proves the point and was widely distributed.
Any beachgoer knows that in another few months, all that sand will be back. It comes and goes. It gets pulled offshore into sandbars in winter and during storms, and it is pushed back onto beaches during calmer conditions of summer. While the steady rise of our oceans is real, the claims of mass erosion after storms are sometimes just the claims of the sand-industrial complex.
But this article had an especially offensive claim that anywhere a federal beachfill project was in place there was considerably less damage. That claim, by Stockton College’s Stewart Farrell, was patently false, especially in Monmouth County NJ and it gave rise to this response.