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$500K, 14K-Ton Sand Dune Held Out 3 Days
Beach Residents Spent $500K
on Barrier. It Lasted 3 Days

Beach Residents Spent $500K on Barrier. It Lasted 3 Days

Perhaps not the best investment that residents of Salisbury, Massachusetts, have ever made

(Newser) - If you're the owner of a pricey beachfront home that keeps being threatened by violent storms and high tides, you might want to protect your investment. So went the thinking of residents of Salisbury, Massachusetts, who WCVB reports were hit by two big storms and a lot of erosion...

Sea Otters Play Big Role in Preventing Erosion
How Sea Otters
Saved a Salt Marsh

How Sea Otters Saved a Salt Marsh

Erosion slowed dramatically after they returned to the area and feasted on shore crabs

(Newser) - Vital salt marsh habitat in California was saved by a resurgence of the area's extremely cute top predator, researchers say. In a study published in the journal Nature , marine ecologist Brent Hughes and other researchers say sea otters dramatically slowed erosion in Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay, the nation'...

US Tests 'Unique' Strategy on Homes Near the Ocean

National Park Service buys 2 in Outer Banks and plans to tear them down

(Newser) - Five homes have collapsed into the ocean over the last three years in the Outer Banks community of Rodanthe, North Carolina, notes the Virginian-Pilot . But that didn't prevent the sale of two adjacent—and "endangered"—homes in Rodanthe on the same day last week for more than...

Symbol of Vietnam Tourism at Risk of Collapse

'Kissing rocks' of Ha Long Bay are eroding, due in part to nearby boats

(Newser) - A key feature of Vietnam's famed Ha Long Bay could collapse if officials don't act to keep boats away. A recent report warns two favorite islets among the thousands of rainforest-topped limestone formations that dot the emerald bay are eroding, with tourists partly to blame, per the BBC...

Shipwreck? Erosion Exposes Mysterious Object on Beach
Mystery Beach
Object Is Labeled
a Shipwreck

Mystery Beach Object Is Labeled a Shipwreck

It emerged from Florida sands after beach was eroded

(Newser) - A mysterious structure found at Daytona Beach Shores after Hurricane Nicole removed much of the beach appears to be a shipwreck from the 1800s, archaeologists say. "This is definitely a ship," Chuck Meide, director of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, tells the Daytona Beach News-Journal . "You can...

Town's Cemetery Collapse an 'Unimaginable Catastrophe'

As many as 200 coffins fell in Camogli, Italy

(Newser) - An "unimaginable catastrophe" has befallen a town near Genoa, Italy, where hundreds of coffins that long rested in a seaside cemetery fell some 160 feet toward the Mediterranean Sea on Monday. CNN reports that as many as 200 coffins were swept up in a landslide in Camogli, and only...

The Issue With the 1999 Policy That Protects Hawaii's Beaches

The state and county governments have spent 2 decades granting exemptions to it

(Newser) - There are no private beaches in Hawaii—all are open to and owned by the public. But a private activity is whittling them away, reports ProPublica and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. More specifically, the shores of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai have been cut down by about 25% over the last century,...

Iceland Trying to Undo What the Vikings Did

The reforestation effort is a slow-moving one

(Newser) - That Iceland is the most lightly forested country in all of Europe is the doing of man, not nature—long-since-deceased man. The AFP reports more than 25% of the island was covered in trees, mostly birch, when the Vikings reached its shores in the late 800s. A century later, only...

Alaskan Villagers Decide to Move Village as Sea Rises

Shishmaref is slowly slipping away

(Newser) - In what was far from an easy decision, residents of a small island village in Alaska voted this week to relocate their home to the mainland, the Guardian reports. The reason? Rising sea levels have been eroding the village of Shishmaref for decades. "The land is going away,"...

Cliff About to Collapse Under Calif. Apartments

The city of Pacifica has declared a state of emergency amid erosion concerns

(Newser) - It's only a matter of time before a few apartment complexes along Esplanade Avenue in Pacifica, Calif., fall 100 feet into the sea. That is, if they're not demolished first. With storms pummeling a coastline that has been eroding dramatically since 2008, the city, located just south of...

Scientists Pinpoint Worst Drought in 1K Years

Dust Bowl of 1934 was 30% more intense than the runner-up drought of 1580

(Newser) - If you've lately found yourself wondering when the worst drought North America has suffered occurred, here's your answer: 1934. At least, as far as the last millennium goes. In a new NASA study, scientists say that a combination of atmospheric conditions (a high pressure ridge off the West...

Mysterious Mounds Attributed to New Source

Theory about soil, erosion may not be sexy, but it's convincing

(Newser) - The mystery of the mounds lives on. A mere six months after researchers said computer modeling proved pocket gophers , over the course of several hundred years of scurrying and burrowing, formed the bizarre-patterned earthen "Mima mounds" in Washington state, a new team of researchers claims that plants are in...

Cliff-Dangling Texas Mansion to Be Torched

Homeowner discovers insurance doesn't cover situation

(Newser) - What's worse than having your luxury home fall into a lake? How about having your home fall into a lake and then having to pay for an expensive cleanup using specialized barges? To avoid this fate, the owners of a Texas home on the verge of toppling into Lake...

Luxury Home Dangles Off Texas Cliff

Homeowner discovered limestone crack in April

(Newser) - A $700,000 luxury home with stunning views of Lake Whitney is on the verge of getting a view of the bottom of the Texas lake. A large part of the limestone bluff beneath the home has given way, leaving part of it dangling over a cliff, CBS reports. Army...

Rich Defend Beach Homes ... but Put Beach at Risk

Environmentalists complain beach fortifications will increase erosion

(Newser) - In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many of the uber-rich who have multimillion-dollar beach homes in the tony town of Southampton, NY, are seeking to keep the ocean from their mansions. They've been spending big bucks ($50,000, in one case, and that could be on the low end)...

Why Hurricane Irene Is Good for the Outer Banks
Why Hurricane Irene Is
Good for the Outer Banks

Why Hurricane Irene Is Good for the Outer Banks

It carries new sand to the area, which helps prevent it from eroding

(Newser) - It's counterintuitive, but it's true, says a Duke University geology professor. Hurricane Irene "is just what" the Outer Banks need. In a conversation with the Los Angeles Times , Orrin Pilkey acknowledges the many, many downsides of the storm: "We are going to see an awful lot...

California Town Retreats From Rising Sea

Ventura spends $4.5M on 'managed retreat' operation

(Newser) - The California coastal town of Ventura is spending $4.5 million dollars on its popular Surfers Point to "back off" from increasing coastal erosion and rising water levels—a fate that awaits much of the US coastline, reports the Los Angeles Times . The project involves ripping out a seaside...

Iconic Arch in Utah Park Collapses

First to fall since 1991

(Newser) - A popular stone arch collapsed early last week in Utah's Arches National Park, the AP reports. First discovered in 1948, the Wall Arch fell victim to gravity and the very same force that formed the sandstone structure—erosion. "They all let go after a while," said a park...

Canyon Older Than Thought?
Canyon Older Than Thought?

Canyon Older Than Thought?

Study says formation began 17M years ago; others stick to 5-6M

(Newser) - The Grand Canyon might be three times older than previously thought, the Washington Post reports. A study in Science claims that a river—not the Colorado, but a smaller one—began carving the oldest part of the canyon 17 million years ago. It contends that the canyon-building greatly accelerated 5...

New Worry: Global Soil Change
New Worry: Global Soil Change

New Worry: Global Soil Change

Scientists propose calling current geological era 'Anthropocene'—human-made

(Newser) - Earth's changing soils appear less able to support farming and plant and animal diversity because of human activity, a study shows. "Global soil change," which is occurring most severely in Africa and Asia, has a heavier hand in climate change than previously thought, National Geographic reports. Degraded soils...

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