Reforming state-level coastal management and development policies: strategic retreat as an innovative, proactive and equitable coastal environmental management strategy

Coburn, Andrew and Whitehead, John (2010) Reforming state-level coastal management and development policies: strategic retreat as an innovative, proactive and equitable coastal environmental management strategy. In: Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future,The 22nd International Conference of The Coastal Society , June 13-16, 2010 ,Wilmington, North Carolina,

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Abstract

Atlantic and Gulf Coast shorelines include some of the most unique and biologically rich ecosystems in the United States that provide immeasurable aesthetic, habitat and economic benefits. Natural coastal ecosystems, however, are under increasing threat from rampant and irresponsible growth and development. Once a boon to local economies, complex natural forces – enhanced by global climate change and sea level rise - are now considered hazards and eroding the very foundation upon which coastal development is based. For nearly a century, beach restoration and erosion control structures have been used to artificially stabilize shorelines in an effort to protect structures and infrastructure. Beach restoration, the import and emplacement of sand on an eroding beach, is expensive, unpredictable, inefficient and may result in long-term environmental impacts. The detrimental environmental impacts of erosion control structures such as sea walls, groins, bulkheads and revetments include sediment deficits, accelerated erosion and beach loss. These and other traditional responses to coastal erosion and storm impacts- along with archaic federal and state policies, subsidies and development incentives - are costly, encourage risky development, artificially increase property values of high-risk or environmentally sensitive properties, reduce the post-storm resilience of shorelines, damage coastal ecosystems and are becoming increasingly unsustainable. Although communities, coastal managers and property owners face increasingly complex and difficult challenges, there is an emerging public, social and political awareness that, without meaningful policy reforms, coastal ecosystems and economies are in jeopardy. Strategic retreat is a sustainable, interdisciplinary management strategy that supports the proactive, planned removal of vulnerable coastal development; reduces risk; increases shoreline resiliency and ensures long term protection of coastal systems. Public policies and management strategies that can overcome common economic misperceptions and promote the removal of vulnerable development will provide state and local policy makers and coastal managers with an effective management tool that concomitantly addresses the economic, environmental, legal and political issues along developed shorelines. (PDF contains 4 pages)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Title: Reforming state-level coastal management and development policies: strategic retreat as an innovative, proactive and equitable coastal environmental management strategy
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Coburn, Andrewacoburn@wcu.edu
Whitehead, John
Date: 2010
Funders: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. EPA Coastal Management Branch, U.S. Geolgocial Survey, NOAA Sea Grant
Event Title: Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future,The 22nd International Conference of The Coastal Society
Event Type: Conference
Event Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Event Dates: June 13-16, 2010
Issuing Agency: The Coastal Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: TCS22
Subjects: Management
Environment
Policies
Item ID: 3931
Depositing User: Cynthia Murray
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2010 20:10
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 16:41
Related URLs:
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/3931

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