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If Oyster Beds and Kelp Forests Go, So Goes Your Beachfront Home

Environment  (tags: climate-change, CO2emissions, destruction, ecosystems, energy, environment, globalwarming, habitatdestruction, politics, pollution, Sustainabililty )

- 1802 days ago -
Forget seawalls, if we're to protect our coasts from hurricanes, we need to bolster natural barriers

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday July 17, 2013, 7:02 pm
Photo Credit: Andrew Burton/Reuters -- A Mantoloking, New Jersey, beachfront home damaged by Hurricane Sandy barely stands on November 29, 2012, one month after the storm made landfall.


This is my unvarnished, unsolicited advice to the 1.4 million Americans living within a mile of a coast. I know you’ve grown accustomed to the soothing sounds of crashing surf. I get that those sunrises and sunsets are just too much like a postcard to ever abandon. But trust me. Sell. Sell now. Get out while you can still find a sucker to take the four walls and roof off your hands.

Climate change and what it will do to our future weather—what it’s already done; perhaps you remember Hurricane Sandy?—will make your beachfront bungalow too unsafe to call home. The evidence, albeit predictive, is simply too hard to ignore.

For example: The number of people at risk from hurricane storm surges could double if the natural defenses—kelp forests, coral reefs, sand dunes, oyster beds, and the like—that protect U.S. coastlines are lost, says a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“Where we’ve got these ecosystems intact, we need to keep it that way,” study author Katie Arkema, a marine ecologist, said to Scientific American. “Otherwise, massive investments will be required to protect people and property.”

The scientists behind the new study created “a hazard model for the U.S. coast combining ecosystem data, projected climate scenarios, socioeconomic data and property values to identify where habitats offered the greatest coastal protection.”

Here are their findings:

Between 1.7 million and 2.1 million people will live in "high hazard" areas by 2100. Of those, up to 40,000 families will be below the poverty line and between $400 billion and $500 billion in residential property will be vulnerable to damage.

While we already knew that Miami’s ultimate vice may be its proximity to water, this study extended the predicament of being a low-lying locale in a rising water world to the entire Sunshine state.

Florida would see the largest increase of people exposed to hazards by 2100 under one sea-level rise scenario highlighted by the researchers. If coastal habitats were preserved, about 500,000 Floridians would face intermediate and high risk from disasters, compared with almost 900,000 people if the habitats disappeared.

This is just one report, true, but it falls in line with a slew of other climate change/extreme weather stories, the last of which came flashing across the wires last week when we learned that in our ever warming world the intensity of future hurricanes will increase by up to 45 percent by 2100.

So again: Sell and sell now, before your driveway looks like this

By: Salvatore Cardoni | Take Part |


Terry V (30)
Wednesday July 17, 2013, 7:06 pm

JL A (281)
Wednesday July 17, 2013, 7:12 pm
Scary stuff Kit...I wonder how that plays out on the west coast where more shore has cliffs...thanks for the great video link Terry!

Judy C (97)
Wednesday July 17, 2013, 7:55 pm
I sure wouldn't live near the coast, as beautiful as it is. After Katrina there was discussion about the stupid move people had made by interfering with the natural buffer against flooding provided by coastal wetlands. Nature knows best, as always. I'm glad to be in Nebraska. Thanks for the link, Terry.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday July 17, 2013, 8:28 pm

Sorry to say, J L but the West Coast is in just as much trouble as the east coast and all islands world wide.
Here is an article from Think Progress;

I had a nice little condo on Padre Island that was swept off to sea by a hurricane.


Edo R (71)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 1:38 am
Thanks for sharing!

Joanne D (38)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 10:32 am
Where the West Coast does have cliffs, those cliffs are pretty fragile. Speaking as a retired insurance professional, I'd point out a lot of those cliffs have disintegrated, plummeting any structures x-thousand feet.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 10:33 am

Joanne D (38)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 10:34 am
P.S. - It's also not just ocean front ecosystems that will destroy all human habitation if they collapse. That's why we need to conserve everything - wolves, elephants, amphibians, birds, wild horses, buffalo, you name it. Of course the people who don't "get"that will not "get" it about the ocean fronts either.

Mike M (40)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 11:20 am
Once one Eco-system collapses then others will follow like domino's. It is all interconnected. Just be thankful you lived in the good times!

. (0)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 11:39 am
The entire situation as far NJ is concerned is rebuild as was. There is a huge percentage who feel Sandy was a once in a lifetime occurance. My home was 5 feet above sea level- the ocean came in at 10 feet.
It will be interesting to see what hte state is going to mandate to those who can afford to re-build.

Dianne D (490)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 1:08 pm
The wealthy aren't going to like either option. They are the only ones who can afford to live on the beach and they want a perfect view.

Robert O (12)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 1:26 pm
Everything is connected but some people don't see the correlation.

Birgit W (160)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 1:31 pm
Sadly noted, thanks Kit

Mari 's (1356)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 4:03 pm
How can that photo not make people cry? We have to protect our home and the earth all the earth is our home.

Ruth R (246)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 5:55 pm
Earth change.

Jeremy S (3)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 7:23 pm
All life is interconnected, after all...

Inge B (202)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 11:54 pm
noted, living in the hinterland.


Frances D (133)
Friday July 19, 2013, 7:22 am
sadly noted

DORIS L (61)
Friday July 19, 2013, 9:26 am
What beachfront home?

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday July 19, 2013, 4:14 pm
Noted. Thanks, Kit. I wonder if people will figure out in time that the weather sees no gender, no racial differentiation, neither wealth nor doesn't discriminate. This week America has seen a weather system that is extremely rare, according to meteorologists. The jet stream normally flows west to east, but for the past several days has gone east to west. We in AZ are seeing Aug/Sept weather, while the NE is sweltering....

Melania P (122)
Monday July 29, 2013, 1:08 pm

Judy T (227)
Wednesday November 13, 2013, 9:45 am
I don't have a beach-front home, but I love the beach. It will be very sad when the sea level rises and takes over the immediate area of our coasts. I love California, but because of the price of coastal real estate, I'm not right next to the beach. I never thought that was a good thing, but I guess it can be ... at the time when the sea level starts rising.
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