Barrier Islands: Should Engineers Interfere with Nature—

by Virginia Fairweather, Editor; ASCE News, ASCE, New York, N.Y. 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1981, Vol. 51, Issue 5, Pg. 64-67

Document Type: Feature article


The pros and cons of barrier island development and protection are explored. Most coastal professionals think that pristine barrier islands probably ought not to be developed except under the most stringent restrictions. However, where barrier islands have been developed, such as at Florida's Miami Beach, the economic incentive to protect such areas from hurricanes, floods and erosion is compelling. Examples of controversial coast projects are given, and new approaches to coastal protection are examined. The latter include nonstructural approaches, beach nourishment, weir jetties and sand bypassing.

Subject Headings: Barrier islands | Gates (hydraulic) | Coastal management | Beaches | Economic factors | Hurricanes and typhoons | Erosion | Beach nourishment | Miami | Florida | United States

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