Minimizing hazards from sea level rise and coastal inundation include ‘shore protection’ and ‘retreat’.
Protection involves 1) shoreline armoring – structures that prevent flooding or fix a shoreline position, and 2) elevating land – raising land and structures to keep pace with sea level rise. Retreat includes moving or removing development.
- Shoreline armoring – seawalls, bulkheads, retaining structures, revetments, dikes, and storm surge barriers.
- Elevating land – sand replenishment, engineered dunes, and elevating both land and structures.
- Retreat – removing or relocating structures, regulating development, and prohibiting shore protection.
In the short term, retreat is more socially disruptive. In the long term, shoreline armoring may be more disruptive with greater environmental impacts.
Note: For other shoreline management options see “Living Shorelines”.