Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chapter 11: Will Hurricane Katrina Impact Shoreline Management?

Erosion is the main issue in this chapter as well as Hurricane Katrina's impact upon shoreline management (as stated in the title of this post). A Professor Orrin H. Pilkey is referred to in the the opening paragraph and states that it may be time to stop federal funding for post-storm rebuilding in vulnerable areas. The idea behind this - which the chapter covers in more depth - is that people living in high risk areas such as right on the shore (Miami for example) should not receive federal or outside funding to rebuild as inevitably another storm or flood etc will come along and they will be homeless once more. One obstacle that is mentioned is the argument that as coastal development is an major economic powerhouse for the U.S. and in turn it is essential that the government help rebuild areas after they are ruined. The author brings up the valid point that if coastal development is so financially successful then they have no need for federal aid. The author goes on to says once again that the U.S. should cease subsidizing those who want to live and work on the immediate coast and that the free market should decide their fate.Local areas should manage their own self-insurance and if it is too costly, then building in the are is impractical. People in North Dakota should not be providing coastal welfare for developers in Florida (quoted directly from the chapter).

One idea proposed in the chapter is to form a commission to determine what areas should have federal funding, should they be planning to retreat from their high risk area, and how to manage the money saved by not subsidizing coastal development.

The Louisiana wetlands and barrier islands potential $14-15 billion dollar restoration project comes under fire as they are seen by the people consulted in the writing of this chapter simply as little speed bumps that did little to counteract Katrina. The author states that the people behind this chapter are all for wetland protection, but for this ind of money they want to see all U.S. wetlands on the table.

The chapter ends with the comment that Coastal Scientists should be doing more to get involved directly with public hearings document published for public comment by the Army Corps of Engineers etc so as to help educate the voice of coastal science heard in local affairs of the beach.

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