Tag Archives: rising sea

Large buildings threaten N.C. beaches

Orrin Pilkey, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Duke University, has been at the forefront of visionary thinking on coastal adaptation. Dr. Pilkey has authored multiple books examining coastal processes and government’s response to a moving coastline in the face of sea level rise. His recent article, Large Buildings Threaten N.C. Beaches, explains how coastal development–by transforming from small cottages to large-scale homes and development–has increased the demand for beach nourishment and inevitably leads to destructive seawalls.

We were very pleased to learn that the Quogue Village Trustees determined earlier this year that a beach nourishment project is not a prudent course of action at this time. Public education and participation was an important factor in their decision. Going forward, it’s essential that our Quogue community stay informed and remain part of the evolving conversation on the future of our beaches.

Does Hurricane Sandy Have a Silver Lining?

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy split Fire Island into two islands, creating a new inlet to the bay behind it. Contrary to the fears of many, there is no evidence suggesting that the opening of the new inlet has increased the risk of of flooding to the mainland (see the following USGS study, Hurricane Sandy Impacts Did Not Contribute to Subsequent Storm Flooding). In fact, scientists say that the breach actually helps clean the bay waters, and fishermen are seeing positive changes.

The following video is courtesy of National Geographic.

Why Sand Is Disappearing

Below excerpts are from a November 4th editorial in The New York Times, here.

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“Today, 75 to 90 percent of the world’s natural sand beaches are disappearing, due partly to rising sea levels and increased storm action, but also to massive erosion caused by the human development of shores. Many low-lying barrier islands are already submerged…

“Yet the extent of this global crisis is obscured because so-called beach nourishment projects attempt to hold sand in place and repair the damage by the time summer people return, creating the illusion of an eternal shore…

“Before next summer, endless lines of dump trucks will have filled in bare spots and restored dunes. Virginia Beach alone has been restored more than 50 times. In recent decades, East Coast barrier islands have used 23 million loads of sand, much of it mined inland and the rest dredged from coastal waters—a practice that disturbs the sea bottom, creating turbidity that kills coral beds and damages spawning grounds, which hurts inshore fisheries…

Click here to read the entire article. Watch a TEDx video presentation on the topic, below.