State of the Beach/Methodology/Beach Erosion
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All coastal states are experiencing erosion along at least some portions of their coastline. However, coastal erosion is one aspect of natural coastal processes that can vary seasonally and in other ways. Erosion may not pose any problems until it threatens coastal properties or diminishes the width of recreational beaches. In the report we present erosion information that is available from the states. It ranges from erosion rate maps to data found in academic or engineering studies. We hope to make the public aware of areas in their states that are eroding. One specific measure in this regard is the percent of 'critically' eroding shoreline. By knowing the location of erosion hotspots and the magnitude of erosion in these areas, measures such as oceanfront construction setbacks can be employed to reduce risks to new development. Because it relates to this issue we have included a summary of each state's erosion response and hazard avoidance policies within this section of the report.
Other measures of the severity or impact of erosion are the number of people, structures, or acres of land in identified erosion zones, but this information is typically not readily available.
Threshold criteria for the beach erosion indicator are:
- 7 to 10 - Regular comprehensive statewide monitoring of shoreline change. This information is presented in a manner that is easily understood by a range of audiences, and it is easy to access.
- 4 to 6 - Some statewide monitoring of shoreline change or documentation of factors affecting shoreline change. This information is presented in a manner that is only understood by experts, and access to this information is limited to state agencies and academic institutions.
- 1 to 3 - Little to no shoreline change information of value exists, can be easily understood, or is readily available.