California: forget seawalls, oceans are stronger

Forget seawalls and coastal defenses. In the last 50 years, California has seen several potential solutions for its shrinking shoreline. The fact is that there are no good results.


Up and down the California coast, some communities are deciding it's not worth trying to wall off the encroaching ocean.

Roughly 10 percent of California's 1,100-mile coast is armored. However, attempts to curb coastal erosion — a problem expected to grow worse with rising seas fueled by global warming — have mostly been futile.

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Coronado Beach: best US beach of 2012

Coronado Beach is the number one beach in the 22nd annual Top 10 Beach List, produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University.


Coronado Beach in San Diego is a 1.5 mile long, wide sandy beach set against the backdrop of the iconic Hotel del Coronado with its peaked red roof and classic Victorian architecture.

The beach is popular for swimmers, surfers, sunbathers and beachcombers. The beach is very flat, making it great for skim boarding and walking, and the sand has a silvery sheen because of the presence of mica.

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Sunset Beach: in the future, ocean will prevail

An alarming study, released last week, reveals that 70 percent of beaches on Maui, Kauai and Oahu are experiencing long-term erosion.


The study says 85 percent of beaches on Maui are eroding, while more than 70 percent on Kauai are eroding. The study says 60 percent of Oahu's beaches are eroding. Scientists studied more than 150 miles of island coastline, and essentially every beach.

While a small percentage of beaches had built up or stayed roughly the same, the average rate of coastal change was 0.4 feet of erosion per year from the early 1900s to 2000s.

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