Scenarios for Land Use on Delaware Barrier Beaches

by Jacob Henry Kahn,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Barrier Islands: Process and Management


Design criteria developed from tenets of the industrial-scientific world view emphasized capital-intensive use of barrier beaches for maximum economic productivity, whereas bioregional design criteria stressed ecological and social sustainability. Field reconnaissance documented that 60% of Delaware's 24-mile oceanfront was used for day-use recreational areas, 29% was residential, 10% was commercial and less than 2% was undeveloped. Scenarios for land use from 1988-2013 in the study area were written. The first scenario assumed land use decisions would be based on the industrial-scientific paradigm; the result was a shift from recreational and residential to commercial use. The second scenario assumed land use decisions based on a bioregional paradigm and the result was a land use pattern similar to today, but with relocation of buildings from flood-prone areas.

Subject Headings: Land use | Beaches | Barrier islands | Gates (hydraulic) | Recreation | Industries | Field tests | Delaware | United States

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