Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM


YOUNG, Robert S., Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723 and BUSH, David M., Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118,

Once again, the USA has experienced the impact of a significant coastal storm, Hurricane Sandy. And, once again we have responded in a manner that ignores the reality of long-term coastal vulnerability, ignores future climate change, creates environmental harm, and ignores the true costs of subsidizing coastal development. There were initially some serious post-Sandy discussions regarding the need to ensure that we simply don’t “just put everything back were it was.” Almost a year later, there have been few substantive moves to relocate property away from coastal hazards or to change the footprint of vulnerable coastal communities. In fact, the oft-heard outcry is "We will rebuild!" This is particularly true of coastal resort communities in New York and New Jersey. Some communities have initiated large-scale efforts to elevate (in situ) infrastructure and private property. But, for the most part, all coastal communities will be relying on various methods to continue protecting infrastructure in place. This will be done largely through the largest beach and dune dune building effort in US history. In New York, regulatory agencies seem to have given up trying to prevent property owners from using hard structures to defend their investment homes, leading to some of the largest structures ever built to protect a single home. All of this is made possible through the fact that we have no national plan for coastal management, adaptation, or storm recovery. Significant federal subsidies assume most of the risk for coastal investment creating a moral hazard for coastal property owners and communities. We are paying them to make the wrong choices, and they are lining up to do so.