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Fri Nov 8, 2019, 08:10 AM

Of Course! Shitstain Eases Dredging Wildlife Refuges, Islands To Rebuild Residential Beaches

The Trump administration changed a 25-year-old policy to make it easier for coastal communities to take sand from protected ecosystems to improve their beaches. The shift makes it cheaper for some of the wealthiest communities in the country to replenish their beachfronts, which are increasingly under threat from more frequent and intense storms, rising seas and other effects of climate change. Critics say that comes at the expense of vulnerable coastal ecosystems.

“Undeveloped coastal islands and beaches will now be opened up to sand mining that will imperil birds and other wildlife, destroy important habitat and reduce the protections these places provide against impacts of storms and erosion,” said Karen Hyun, vice president for coastal conservation at the National Audubon Society, in a statement. In 1982, Congress established the Coastal Barrier Resources System, which protects 1.4 million acres of land around the country from development. The Interior Department has long said that the law prohibited using federal money to remove sand from those zones to replenish beaches elsewhere.


Beyond the threat posed to protected coastal zones, critics said the policy shift would also encourage more property development in beach towns at risk of flooding, or even becoming uninhabitable in the long term, because of climate change.

They say the cost of that development will fall on taxpayers, who fund not just the beach renourishment projects but also the programs required to support those communities, such as federal flood insurance and disaster recovery programs. “In many cases, beach nourishment is subsidizing the most vulnerable and exposed property in the United States,” said Robert S. Young, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University.



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