The Importance of the U.S. Coast: An In-Depth Look at Coastal Benefits and Risks

Fall 2014   By Howard Marlowe, President, Marlowe & Company LLC, Published in Shore & Beach, Vol. 82, No. 3

Abstract: This paper highlights the importance of our coastal economy to America's economic and societal welfare, demonstrates the need to mitigate coastal risks associated with severe storms and seal leave rise, and discusses lapses in federal government's efforts to redress coastal risks.

As fierce storms such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sand have demonstrated, America's coasts face substantial risks. The economic impact of coastal industry and tourism creates millions of jobs and generates billions of dollars of federal government tax revenue. Coastal communities' economic  and fiscal impacts are so significant that an disturbance along the coast, even for a short period of time, could result in billions of dollars of lost income and tax revenue (Isador 2012).

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Village Throws Hat into Legal Arena in Beach Replenishment Fight

Sept. 30, 2014   Story by Peggy Spellman Hoey The Long Island Advance

Mastic Beach Village has requested to become a defendant in a lawsuit blocking the planned beach replenishment at storm-damaged Smith Point County Park — as an interested party, citing concerns that a delay puts residents at risk.

In a legal brief presented at the federal courthouse in Central Islip Tuesday morning, village attorney Brian Egan argued any delay of the estimated $47.9 million project, which was fast-tracked earlier this year to protect homes across the bay on the mainland, would have a “devastating and incredible negative impact on residents’ homes and the infrastructure of the village." Village officials and residents, who live across the bay from the stretch of beach and often experience flooding, have lobbied for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get sand out on the beach for nearly two years since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the shoreline and many homes were left under water. The project was on track up until about three weeks ago, and contractors were expected to mobilize by the middle of October, until the National Audubon Society entered a legal challenge against the Army Corps and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the basis the endangered piping plover bird species habitat would be compromised.

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Barrier Islands Feeling the Effects of Climate Change

Sept. 29, 2014 By Cornelia Dean The New York Times

QUOGUE, N.Y. — As the president of the Fire Island Association, Suzy Goldhirsch has a message she says she often offers property owners. “We are living on a sandbar in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,” she tells them. “We are in a high-risk environment. We on barrier islands are on the front lines of climate change.”

The same could be said of many coastal areas around the world, which are threatened by rising sea levels as the planet warms. But the barrier islands that line the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, from Cape Cod to the Mexican border, are a special case.

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Suffolk County Releases FIMI Stabilization Project Information

September 22, 2014 - For Public Review Residents Encouraged to Log onto

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced today the county’s Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet (FIMI) Stabilization Project public information website,, has launched for residents to review. The extensive coastal protection project is designed to provide coastal storm risk reduction and protect main lands from coastal erosion and tidal inundation until the Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point (FIMP) project is implemented.

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School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Stony Brook University: The Great South Bay Project

Sept. 8, 2014

The goal of the Great South Bay program is to gain a thorough understanding of the biogeochemistry of the Bay and its effect on pelagic and benthic communities. Currently this effort is supported by the NY Department of State in which observations and models are combined in support of the development of an ecosystem based management approach to address the ecological problems besetting the Bay.

This webpage shows some of the hydrodynamic model results to date and presents physical observational data collected over the past several years. Currently, the hydrodynamic model is undergoing a major upgrade so as to deal more effectively with the complex topography of the western portions of the Bay. The model results presented below deal with one aspect of the Bay, that is the potential impact of a large breach in Fire Island. The model is also being used to study the impact of tides and winds on the distribution and dispersal of passive tracers and plankton.

This page also presents much of the observational data from temperature and salinity sensors that have been deployed around the eastern portion of the Bay since 2004. Since 2010 some of these instruments have been enhanced to measure sea level, chlorophyll and turbidity. And since the middle of 2010 real-time data from the Smith Point bridge and a telemetering buoy south of Sayville have also become available. All the observational data are available below.”

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