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Category: Our Planet

The Future of Our Beaches

The Future of Our Beaches

Residents and businesses located along the beaches are experiencing episodes of water in the streets – courtesy of rising seas and disappearing beaches. Sea levels are rising all around the world, with tides being higher than ever before. Estimates put the rise at between 15 and 25 cm above sea level by the year 2030 and between 79 and 155cm above sea level by the year 2100.

The rising levels are as a result of rising global temperatures. Though many would argue that the high temperatures ought to lead to an increase in evaporation, therefore, more beach area, the effect is opposite. The temperatures cause ice caps to melt and get deposited in the seawater, causing it to expand. This, in turn, causes water levels to rise. However, the rise doesn’t occur evenly. So, what should you expect from this rise?

 

Narrower Beaches

As the sea levels rise slowly, the ocean goes ahead to erode sand from the beach along the coast. If the beach gets trapped between the coastal development and rising seas, it can’t retreat inland anymore. Instead, it becomes narrower. The loss of beach space will cut down on recreational space for beach lovers. The worst scenario is that just a small amount of rise in the sea level can lead to a large portion of beach getting swallowed up by the water.

 

Floods

If the beach doesn’t have the natural ability to absorb the water coming in from the sea, the impacts of storms on coastlines will be worse. It will lead to floods and make the coast worse especially to inhabitants. This will greatly impact the oceanfront homes and resorts that dot the beaches.

 

Loss in Tourist Revenue

Numerous beaches across the coast might see a revenue loss to the tune of millions due to the rise in sea levels. As the beach gets narrower and narrower, tourists and local visitors will end up snubbing some of the regions that experience the highest rise in sea levels. The local authorities will be looking at millions in losses regarding revenue.

However, the changes in fortune in one area might lead to changes in fortune in other areas. The sand that the floods will cart away will get deposited in other areas thus increase the size of the beaches in these coastal regions. The larger beaches will attract more tourists due to the growth in size. Well, soon you might have to carry your favorite beach chair (click here for reviews) and relocate to another part of the beach just to tan your body.

 

You Are To Blame Too!

One of the reasons that have led to sand being washed away so fast is because most resort managers and tourists keep the beach free of plants, shrubs, and grasses that would naturally hold the sand in place. This is because these managers know that a glimmering expanse of white sand will attract more tourists who love the space.

The need for beach property has also seen developers getting too close to the shoreline, giving the beach just enough space to erode further. You buy a beach property today, and in a few weeks, you realize your basement is flooding. This isn’t what you wanted, but you have to try and live with it.

 

What is More Important?

If this question were answered a long time ago, the authorities wouldn’t be having the problem of receding shorelines at this time. For every mile that was sold off as property, a few miles of beaches was given up. The properties would have been moved back to give enough space for the beach to adapt.