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News Release

19 October 2007
GSA Release No. 07-52

Contact: Christa Stratton

Identifying America's Most Vulnerable Oceanfront Communities

Boulder, CO, USA – Coastal geologists are convinced a number of beachfront areas along the U.S. eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast are at extreme risk of destruction for the second or third time. In their view poorly designed efforts to replenish and improve beaches in some locales have caused more harm than good. At this month's Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver, they will explain why and broach the highly charged issue of continued redevelopment at public expense in a time of global change.

"Identifying American's Most Vulnerable Oceanfront Communities: A Geological Perspective" takes place Sunday, 28 October, 1:30-5:30 p.m. MDT, at the Colorado Convention Center. Conveners of this Pardee Keynote Symposium are coastal geology experts Joseph T. Kelley, University of Maine; Robert S. Young, Western Carolina University; and Orrin Pilkey, Duke University.

Coastal communities to be discussed are:

Camp Ellis, Maine
Speaker: Joseph T. Kelley, University of Maine, Orono, ME,
View presentation abstract

Westhampton Beach, Long Island, New York
Speaker: Nicholas K. Koch, Queens College of CUNY, Flushing, NY,
View presentation abstract

Pea Island and the Northern Outer Banks, North Carolina
Speaker: Stanley R. Riggs, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC,
View presentation abstract

North Topsail Island, North Carolina
Speaker: Orrin H. Pilkey, Duke University, Durham, NC,
View presentation abstract

Broward County, Florida
Speaker: Harold R. Wanless, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL,
View presentation abstract

West end of Dauphin Island, Alabama
Speaker: George F. Crozier, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Dauphin Island, AL,
View presentation abstract

Holly Beach and the Chenier-Plain communities, Louisiana
Speaker: Asbury Sallenger, US Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, FL,
View presentation abstract

Surfside Village, Follets Island, Texas
Speaker: Richard L. Watson, Texas Coast Geology, Port Aransas, TX,
View presentation abstract

Rincón, Puerto Rico
Speaker: E. Robert Thieler, US Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA,
View presentation abstract

"A convergence of local geology, development patterns, and natural coastal processes has landed all of these communities on a list of the most vulnerable," said Kelley. "In many cases engineering projects created these communities and keep them going. The question is whether it makes sense to keep rebuilding at public expense in a time of changing storm frequency, increasing storm intensity, and rising sea level."


Identifying American's Most Vulnerable Oceanfront Communities: A Geological Perspective
Sunday, 28 October, 1:30-5:30 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Room 708/710/712, Denver, CO


Presenters may be contacted prior to the GSA Annual Meeting (28-31 October 2007) at the e-mail addresses above. During the meeting contact Ann Cairns at the GSA onsite newsroom, , +1-303-228-8486, for assistance.


Contact presenters for images.

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