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Assessing Economic Impacts of Barrier Beach Drowning: Fire Island, New York

by Bowie, Patricia

Abstract (Summary)
Barrier islands are critical to our economy, lifestyle and welfare, as homes, businesses, and critical roadways are located on or near barriers. Over the past 30 years, barrier islands have become densely developed. Now, over half of the U.S. population (160 million) lives in coastal counties, and coastal county population is increasing by 3,600 people per day. As the predominate landform on the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts, barrier islands protect the mainland and estuarine ecosystems from direct assault from the ocean. Human induced global warming is expected to create a significant global mean sea level rise in the 21st century, as well as increase hurricane strength and frequency. As sea level rise rates are expected to increase, the fate of barrier beaches is uncertain. A key piece of information for projecting future economic impacts of shoreline erosion due to sea level rise or hurricane activity is calculating market values of properties as a function of distance from shoreline. My goal is to create a market valuation model that estimates market values of properties on Fire Island, New York as a function of distance from shoreline. Once market values are extrapolated across the entire barrier island, a flood model that generates storm surge or different sea level rise scenarios for a target area can be used to estimate damages in modern dollars.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Pilkey, Orrin

School:Duke University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:coastal change sea level rise economic impacts

ISBN:

Date of Publication:04/24/2008

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