Coastal Development Threatened

Newer sites must prepare for storms

September 18, 2017 - 10:14 am

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 BY BILL DUBENSKY (South Carolina Radio Network)

A Clemson University researcher says economic growth and the rush to be close to nature makes the coastal environment more vulnerable to hurricanes.

Real Estate Development professor Caitlin Dyckman told South Carolina Radio Network the impact is often overlooked. “It may potentially make storms and big events — but also gradual changes like accelerated sea level rise from climate change — more extreme and the potential for property loss much higher,” she said.

She said while established cities such as Charleston cannot change what is already built, newer growing areas can build further inland while still having the beauty of the coast.

“A historical large city is not viable in terms of removal,” Dyckman said. “But you’re talking about newer areas.”

Dyckman and a group of researchers from around the country are interested in further exploring continued beach living even though bigger, stronger storms such as Hurricane Harvey and Irma are becoming more frequent. Through continued research, she hopes to answer some of these questions and also examine the government’s role and the policies they can put in place to facilitate managed retreat.

She said flooding from storms like Hurricane Harvey and Irma are reminders of the risks of building along developed coastlines.

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