December 30, 2018
Earlier this month the preservation nonprofit Surfrider Foundation released its "2018 State of the Beach Report Card" on coastal preservation, updates and climate change with discouraging, if not dismal, results.
The foundation reported that only eight of the 31 coastal states — including Puerto Rico — are doing a "fair or better" job protecting its beaches and that not only do a majority of those states need to make improvements, but they require continued federal support for their preservation.
While Pennsylvania's beach neighbors like New York, Connecticut, and Delaware all earned an average of a "C" or better (which means barely adequate or poor), New Jersey ranked one of the worst on the list, with an "F." The state joins nearly half of the U.S.'s coastlines that earned the lowest rank, failing to enact policies on erosion, development, wildlife preservation, and climate change.
According to Surfrider, about 40 percent of the U.S. population lives along these coastlines and the ocean economy contributes more than $352 billion to the annual GDP. But erosion already causes approximately $500 million in property loss annually in the U.S.
And by 2100, scientists predict sea levels will increase up to six feet.
Not surprisingly, the foundation also found most of the low-ranking beaches had been previously impacted by some extreme weather event. Most of those affected still don't have policies surrounding sea level rise or coastal preservation, the foundation reported.
To volunteer with Surfrider or get involved in coastal preservation, click here.