Can the Jersey Shore Be Saved?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Homes in Holgate on Long Beach Island, where there were no dunes.

New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook discusses the effort to protect New Jersey’s beaches in an age of superstorms like last year’s Hurricane Sandy. His piece “The Beach Builders: Can the Jersey Shore Be Saved?” appears in the July 22 issue of The New Yorker.


John Seabrook

Comments [5]

Mar from Brooklyn

From our perspective in Gowanus Brooklyn, your guest has miss-judged Bloomburg on smart climate change. When it comes to the urban environment, he is way off the mark.

Gowanus creek area, is at sea level and will have to deal with sea rise along with storm surge. More importantly though, it has to deal with major urban drainage problems resulting from the more intense rain falls. It also lacks infrastructure to move rain water. Several areas of Gowanus have had flooding as severe as Sandy, a number if times this spring.

Gowanus fairer fairly well in Sandy because currently people don't live on the banks of the industrial canal. But that is about to change with Bloomburgs post-sandy rebuilding policy. The Bloomburg admin is allowing a 700 unit housing development by Lightstone Group to be put up in this current manufacturing flood district. The city has required Lightsrone to build an additional two feet of 'free-board" to protect the building from surges, but the construction to do that will most certainly reek flood havoc in the densely populated adjacent areas. Eliminating drainage slope in dense urban areas that are at of near sea level is NOT Climate Change Smart. Bloomberg has got climate change action very wrong inside the city.

Flooding and sea level rise in such densely populated areas is far more risky than rebuilding handful of houses along beach areas. The city's coastal development policies will only make things worse.

FYI: Cincinnati OH recently came out with a much more robust urban climate change plan with their plans to separate their entire city sewer system. Urban climate change risks come primarily from the sewage system and NYC just isn't addressing those issues.

Jul. 15 2013 01:47 PM
Stephen from Manhattan

Forget about taxpayers' money being used to rebuild the beach, how about taxpayers' money used to finance those "Stronger Than The Beach" TV spots? Those are little more than campaign ads for Gov Christie which I find totally appalling. Meanwhile, thousands of NJ residents, not just at the shore, are struggling to overcome the devastation of Sandy.

Jul. 15 2013 01:28 PM
Jenny from NJ

Asbury Park is no longer quite so "gritty." A large part of Asbury is really quite nice these days. It depends on what part of Asbury you're in. As with any place, there are different neighborhoods.

Jul. 15 2013 01:26 PM
Joseph Cavalieri from east village

Can't we use recycled glass to fill the beach? Just grind up glass and add it to the mix?
It feels like a cheap local solution.
thanks for the show

Jul. 15 2013 01:14 PM
Shannon from UES

I visited Asbury Park last weekend and was surprised to see the amount of homes for sale. I understand this area was undergoing a bit of a redevelopment in recent years. Progress was being made in renovating the boardwalk but the area was devastated by Sandy. Are people fleeing because the area is now uninsurable? I wonder if it's wise to invest at all given the potential for worse storms.

Jul. 15 2013 12:59 PM

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