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R.K. Gittman , C.S. Smith , S.B. Scyphers , A. Albright , C.J. Baillie , S.E. Donaher , H. Hao , M.A. Polk , S. Trackenberg , E.H. Wellman , N. Woodard , and D.O. Eulie
As coastal populations continue to increase, the socioeconomic impacts of hurricanes and other major storm events are also expected to increase, with hurricane damages already costing the United States nearly a trillion dollars since 1980. To protect people, infrastructure, and property from storms, coastal residents frequently elect to harden their shorelines with seawalls and bulkheads, which has been shown to cause coastal habitat loss and degradation. Alternatively, nature-based approaches, such as living shorelines, can restore coastal habitat functions, while also preventing shoreline damage and erosion during storm events. Further, recent work has suggested that living shorelines can be less costly to maintain and require fewer repairs after storms than bulkheads. However, the ability of living shorelines to prevent shoreline damage and erosion over multiple storm events has not been evaluated. In many regions, including coastal North Carolina, multiple hurricanes have made landfall and have caused significant damage in the last decade. To understand the impacts of multiple hurricanes on waterfront properties and shoreline habitats, we conducted shoreline surveys and online surveys of waterfront residents before and after five hurricanes over ten years. Results suggest that living shorelines are resilient to multiple storm events, while bulkheads require repeated, costly interventions to provide continued protection.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program