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New Study: Coastal Population to Soar Despite Storms

Becky Kellogg
Published: March 28, 2013

Long Beach Island, N.J.

Long Beach Island, N.J.

Associated Press

In this aerial photograph, heavy equipment pushes sand to restore a barrier dune along the Atlantic Ocean on Long Beach Island, N.J., Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, after the region was pounded by Superstorm Sandy the previous week.

  • Long Beach Island, N.J.
  • Point Pleasant, N.J.
  • Longport, N.J.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Rockaway Beach in Queens, N.Y.
  • Dover Township, N.J.
  • Dover Township, N.J.
  • Little Ferry, N.J.
  • Wall, N.J.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • of Staten Island
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Jersey City, N.J.
  • Staten Island Ferry, N.Y.
  • Belmar, N.J.
  • Hoboken, N.J.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Little Ferry, N.J.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • New Jersey
  • Brant Beach, N.J.
  • Little Ferry, N.J.
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  • Chincoteague, Va.
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  • Seaside Heights, N.J.
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  • Queens, N.Y.
  • Long Beach, N.Y.
  • Mossy, W.Va.
  • Franklin, N.H.
  • Baltimore, Md.
  • South Kingstown, R.I.
  • Milford, Conn.,
  • Chincoteague, Va
  • New York, N.Y.
  • South Amboy, N.J.
  • New York, N.Y.
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  • Seaside, N.J.
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  • Seaside, N.J.
  • Seaside, N.J.
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  • Belmar, N.J.
  • Seaside, N.J.
  • Little Silver Point, N.J.
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  • Little Silver Point, New Jersey
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  • Little Silver Point, N.J.
  • Little Ferry, N.J.
  • Little Ferry, N.J.
  • Laurel Hollow, N.Y.
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
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  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
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  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Queens, N.Y.
  • Elkins, W.Va.
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  • New York, NY
  • Brooklyn N.Y.
  • Queens N.Y.
  • Milford, Del.
  • Manhattan, New York
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  • New York, NY
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Chelsea, NY
  • Ridgewood, N.J.
  • Davis, W.V.
  • Grandview, W.V.
  • Deep Creek Lake, Md.
  • Ocean City, Md
  • Battery Park Underpass N.Y.
  • Little Ferry, N.J.
  • Little Ferry, N.J
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  • East Coast
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  • PHILADELPHIA, PA
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  • Ocean City, Md.
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  • South Jersey
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  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Davis, W.V.
  • New York, N.Y.
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  • Southern West Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Lindenhurst, N.Y.
  • Andover, Mass.
  • Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Near Hatteras, N.C.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Atlantic City, N.J.
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  • Philadelphia, Pa
  • New York, N.Y.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • New York, NY
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Staten Island, N.Y.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Manhattan, N.Y.
  • Manhattan, N.Y.
  • Lindenhurst, N.Y.
  • Sandy Pounds the Northeast
  • Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Lewes, Del
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chesapeake Bay, MD
  • Hampton, N.H.
  • Colchester, Vt
  • Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  • Kennebunk, Maine
  • Nags Head, N.C.
  • Hampton, N.H.
  • Ocean City, Md
  • Rehoboth Beach, De
  • West Virginia
  • Edgewater, NJ
  • Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
  • Queens, N.Y.
  • Ocean Bluff, MA
  • Plymouth, MA
  • Scituate, MA
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  • Plymouth, MA
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  • Hampton, Va.
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
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  • Norfolk, Va.
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  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
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  • London, England
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  • Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Branford, Ct.
  • Sea Bright, N.J.
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  • Ocean City, Md.
  • Norfolk, Va.
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  • Canton, Pa.
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  • Glen Burnie, Md
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  • Shady Side, Md.
  • Frisco, N.C.
  • Narragansett, R.I.
  • Buxton, N.C.
  • New  York, N.Y.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Satellite Image
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  • Hatteras Island, N.C.
  • Longport, N.J.
  • Fenwick West, De.
  • Buckroe Beach, Va.
  • Hampton, Va.
  • Wildwood, N.J.
  • Milton, De.
  • Ocean City, Md.
  • Hampton, Va.
  • Norfolk, Va.
  • Poquoson, Va.
  • Hatteras, N.C.
  • Nags Head, N.C.
  • Ocean City, Md.
  • Beach Haven, N.J.
  • Chincoteague Island, Va.
  • Nags Head, N.C.
  • Sandy Madison, Ct.
  • Western New Hampshire
  • Carolina Beach, N.C.
  • Atlantic Beach, N.C.
  • Atlantic Beach, N.C.
  • Atlantic Beach, N.C.
  • Atlantic Beach, N.C.
  • East Providence, R.I.
  • Ocean City, Md.
  • Wildwood, N.J.
  • Atlantic City, N.J.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Ocean City, Md.
  • Norristown, Pa.
  • Ocean City, Md.
  • Berwick, Pa.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Atlantic City, N.J.

The population along the U.S. Coast will continue to boom in the coming years, despite the increased risk from extreme weather like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. That's according to a report by NOAA and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

If the current growth continues, the population along the U.S. coast will grow to 134 million people by 2020.  Right now, 123 million people live along the coast.  

The report offers coastal managers and residents a unique look at trends that could impact their communities. It provides a way to them to plan for the possibility of how monster storms and extreme weather will affect a burgeoning population.

"People who live near the shore, and managers of these coastal communities, should be aware of how this population growth may affect their coastal areas over time," said Holly Bamford, Ph.D., assistant NOAA administrator for the National Ocean Service. 

"As more people move to the coast, county managers will see a dual challenge--protecting a growing population from coastal hazards, as well as protecting coastal ecosystems from a growing population."

Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac severely damaged infrastructure and property along the East and Gulf Coasts last year. Sandy slammed the Northeast coast, causing more than a billion dollars in damage. New Jersey and New York were particularly hard hit.  Isaac hit the Gulf Coast in August, knocking out power to almost a million customers and putting entire communities underwater.

"Whether you're talking about watershed counties or shoreline counties, the coast is substantially more crowded than the U.S. as a whole," said report editor Kristen Crossett of NOAA's National Ocean Service. "Population density in shoreline counties is more than six times greater than the corresponding inland counties."

From 1970 to 2010, the population alone the U.S. coast increased by 39 percent, according to NOAA and the U.S. Census Bureau.

See the complete report by NOAA and the U.S. Census Bureau.


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