What’s going on?
Florida boasts 825 miles of coastline. However, as of 2021, more than 426.6 miles of this shoreline are critically eroded, or worn down or changed to “such a degree that upland development, recreational interests, wildlife habitat, or important cultural resources are threatened or lost,” according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Beaches can be eroded by severe storms or sea level rise, but human activities like coastal development or construction of navigation channels and inlets have exacerbated the issue and changed the natural flow of water and sand.
Why it matters.
Florida’s beaches provide habitat for vital native species, protect the coastline from damaging storms, attract millions of tourists, and overall contribute economic value to the state. Erosion can weaken foundations of buildings near the shore and lead to damaged property.
Solutions to beach erosion include nourishing the beach, or pumping sand from offshore onto the eroded area, building structures like seawalls, groins and jetties, or planting vegetation that can anchor the sand in place.
What you can do.
- Learn more about beach erosion, living shorelines, seawalls, nourishment, and more from the South Florida Reporter
- Check the vulnerability of your coastal property by using the U.S. Geological Survey’s Climate Change Hazards Portal
- Check out the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s strategic beach management plans