Greenhouse Effect, Sea Level Rise and Barrier Islands: Case Study of Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1990, this article discusses the likely impacts of future sea level rise on developed barrier islands, and provides a case study of Long Beach Island, New Jersey. 

After summarizing previous studies, four possible responses to sea level rise are presented, along with estimations of the cost of implementing each of these responses on Long Beach Island. The responses considered are: No Coastal Protection, Engineering a Retreat, Raising an Island in Place, and Encircling the Island with Levees (Dikes). 

The report discusses specific policy options, such as reconstruction bans, engineering new bay side land, elevating portions of barrier islands, and constructing levees. The potential costs of enacting various policy options on Long Beach Island are assessed, including the potential costs of sand for beach nourishment, and those costs associated with moving structures, rebuilding, and constructing levees and pumps. The cost of not protecting the island is reviewed as well.

Publication Date: 1990

Author or Affiliated User:

  • James Titus


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Case study

States Affected:


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