Home Green Consumer Beach Replenishment Faces Losing Battle

Beach Replenishment Faces Losing Battle


U.S. beaches and those around the world are fighting a losing battle to global climate change.  Rising sea levels are forcing governments and home owners to face the prospect of higher costs in protecting their beaches.  Past efforts at stemming  rising waters in the past was to build jetties and sea walls. Today the preferred method is beach nourishment, a process that pumps sand from the ocean floor back onto the beach. Beach nourishment is used to rebuild dunes and restore shore line beach front.  The problem with rebuilding dunes is that with each passing year they must be built higher.  As the dunes grow to protect the homes and land areas behind them, new conflicts arise with homeowners.  In New Jersey, a state that garners over $20 billion in tourism dollars because of their 128 miles of uninterrupted shore line, beach front home owners want compensation for lost ocean views due to growing dune build ups.  Beach front homeowners whose views are being blocked have won compensation awards for lost views that are staggering to the communities that are seeking to save their beaches.  In the small town of Harvey Cedars, NJ a recent award gave a homeowner $480,000 for a lost ocean view.  The town had offered $300, but a court ruling overturned it.  The whole beach replenishment project is now in jeopardy for that community.  Those who own ocean front property do know the risks that are associated with their locations.  Hurricanes, winter storms, and rising ocean waters can and will eventually damage or destroy these ocean front properties.  Expecting local government to compensate for lost views in an attempt to prevent this from happening to their homes is just plain ridiculous.  They knew the risk when they bought there, as does anyone who buys property on an island or water front.  The oceans are rising, and we like the little Dutch boy do everything to plug the growing leaks.  Perhaps future dune build ups should just bypass those homeowners that want to keep their views.  Build up the beaches around them, but allow the ocean waters to keep coming up to their properties.  Let see how long their homes will last then.

Welcome to the new earthy report!  We hope you like the new layout and design.  Please let us know what you think of it.  Your comments and insights are always welcome here.

Photo: Harvey Cedars, NJ Beach Replenishment. Photo By John Vlahakis


  1. You doing a dis-service all of the other folks out here that don’t own beach front homes that don’t happen to think so called beach replenishment is a viable way to protect beaches. Its not. The pt. that the Ocean is rising really means that eventually we’ll have to move back not continue in a utterly futile attempt to use increasingly expensive and scarce beach sand to hold the line. In the long run, some beach front owners are going to have to be bought out and society is going to have to allow the seas to go where they want.

  2. One of the realities is the cost to compensate owners of not just beach front properties. How do we handle the expense of compensating whole cities, like Miami or New York? It most likely is less expensive to save these areas then let them go. If the oceans rise to 25+ feet then we have no choice but to retreat.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here