Do nothing

The erosion of sand dunes and beaches along the shoreline is, to a large degree, a natural process of shaping and reshaping the coastal environment that has been occurring consistently over time. For this reason, doing nothing to address erosion is an option that should be considered. If the erosion is natural and not causing an immediate hazard to property or infrastructure, doing nothing is almost always the least costly and often the environmentally preferable option.

In evaluating the “do-nothing” alternative, assess the level of risk you are willing to accept in conjunction with the existing and expected uses of the property.The “do nothing” alternative makes the most sense if there aren’t any structures on your property, in areas of critical habitat, or on beaches where erosion is minimal and a structure is located far away from the eroding shoreline, and a defined erosion rate has been determined (in consultation with local experts).

The steps below will help you decide if the “do-nothing” alternative makes sense for your property.

1) Contact local, state and/or federal regulatory officials. Individuals experienced with coastal regulations may not need to consult officials in all cases; however, if in doubt seek regulatory advice before proceeding with a project.

2) Obtain an environmental assessment from a certified engineer or other qualified professional with expertise in coastal geology and biology. In most cases local, state, and/or federal regulators can help direct you to the best professional discipline to assist with your specific project. Sometimes it is helpful to have the consultant completing the environmental assessment and the construction contractor present at regulatory consultation meetings.

3) Evaluate your risk. Check your insurance coverage to make sure you have adequate liability coverage related to loss due to shoreline erosion, as well as flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.