Beaches across the United States are in trouble.
“This dune just a few weeks ago was out this far and now it’s eroded back and the vegetation is dying,” a city manager in Florida told CBS News.
Florida’s Flagler Beach has had to bring in over a million cubic feet of sand to replace what it’s lost to erosion.
It’s one of many beaches on both coasts of the U.S. that is threatened by erosion. And the problem is growing.
“There is not one variable that’s causing the erosion problem,” Texas A&M professor Samuel Brody told CBS News.
Climate change is partly responsible for the damage, Brody said. Construction too close to the water, as well as on so-called “barrier islands” that protect mainland coasts, is also part of the problem, he said.
“The synergy between the two is what worries me over the next couple of decades,” he continued.
People in Flagler Beach are being asked to stay off the dunes to help protect the coast, but more will need to be done.
Experts say keeping things the way they are, or slowing down their rate of decay, will only be possible when both climate change and overdevelopment are addressed. Hopefully for these beloved coastal areas, it will not be too late.