Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions: A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative
North Topsail Beach, North Carolina Case Study
This study is the first of several case studies to be released by the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines examining the feasibility and economics of targeted acquisition strategies in oceanfront, resort communities. Buyouts of vulnerable properties have become an increasingly popular tool for reducing future exposure in flood-prone communities across the U.S. However, proactive, targeted buyouts have not been common with oceanfront, investment (largely) properties despite the fact that these properties represent the “first line” of tropical storm exposure on the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts.
Our approach is to first examine the exposure of properties on North Topsail Beach, North Carolina to coastal hazards using a Vulnerability Assessment Protocol developed for examining infrastructure vulnerability in the National Park Service. The most exposed properties are identified and a coherent, contiguous group are selected for a fiscal analysis regarding a buyout’s costs and impacts. The analysis of costs includes purchasing the properties, removal costs, and lost tax revenues. The quantifiable benefits include reduced expenditures for coastal protection, engineering design/permitting, and maintenance.