Run Away: New analysis discusses role of managed retreat as a climate change response

Researchers analyze benefits of considering retreat as a proactive option in the face of climate change


Research News


MIAMI–In a new analysis on managed retreat–the climate adaptation response of moving people and property out of harm’s way–researchers explore what it would take for managed retreat to be supportive of people and their priorities. A key starting point is considering retreat alongside other responses like coastal armoring and not just as an option of last resort.

In a new paper in the journal Science, University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science researcher Katharine Mach argues that managed retreat should be viewed as a proactive option that can support communities and livelihoods in the face of climate change.

“Managed retreat can be more effective in reducing risk–in ways that are socially equitable and economically efficient–if it is a proactive component of climate-driven transformations,” said Mach, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UM Rosenstiel School. “It can be used to address climate risks, along with other types of responses like building seawalls or limiting new development in hazard-prone regions.”

In the review paper, Mach and her colleague A.R. Siders from the University of Delaware reviewed the existing literature on the subject to argue that societies will be better prepared for intensifying climate change–such as more frequent and severe storms, flooding and sea-level-rise–if they consider the potential role of strategic and managed retreat.

“Communities, towns, cities and municipalities are making decisions now that affect the future,” said Siders, a core faculty member in UD’s Disaster Research Center and assistant professor in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration and geography and spatial sciences. “If we’re making these decisions now, we should also be considering all the options on the table right now, not just the ones that keep people in place.”

Retreat is already happening in the U.S. and many parts of the world in the face of relatively moderate climate change and has happened throughout human history.

“Early conversations about managed retreat–and where, when, and why its use could be considered acceptable or not–substantially increase the likelihood that future climate retreat will promote societal goals,” said Mach.


In a related study in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Mach and UM doctoral student Carolien Kraan conducted the first comprehensive overview of equity concerns that have been raised on voluntary property buyouts and provide policy options for addressing these concerns.

For example, they suggest that local governments involve residents in the buyout process from the start and provide homeowners with professional support to guide them through the process to reduce frustration.

“The article provides practitioners and researchers with a synthesis of policy options that are aimed at improving social justice outcomes in voluntary property buyout programs,” said Kraan, a doctoral student at the UM Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.


The review paper, titled “Reframing strategic, managed retreat for transformative climate adaptation,” was published on June 18 in the journal Science.

The study, titled “Promoting equity in retreat through voluntary property buyout programs,” was published May 11 in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. The authors include Jennifer Niemann from the UM Rosenstiel School, A. R. Siders from the University of Delaware and Miyuki Hino from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Funding for both studies was provided by the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School

The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, visit: and Twitter @UMiamiRSMAS

From EurekAlert!

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June 20, 2021 6:10 pm

All this ‘so called’ Climate Change Management is totally 180 degrees in the opposite direction. It is Global Cooling that we will have to confront. Currently the planet is at the tail end of this current “Interglacial” warm period, and ready to enter a 100,000 year glaciation phase. Its gonna’ get cold, sooner than you think. Get ready for the next chapter of this current Pleistocene Ice Age.

If you own property north of the Mason-Dixon Line, time to sell and move south,…ahead of the crowd.

Reply to  John L
June 20, 2021 7:12 pm

I’d more anticipate a continuation of multidecade warming and cooling cycles, just as it’s been for centuries if not millennia. I am hoping that we’ve a multidecade cooling cycle, but no matter if the earth continues to warm or cool, I’ll be dead within the next three decades so temperatures aren’t going to change enough for me to notice.
As for the oceans, I’d expect the rise to slowly continue through the rest of my life. But a significant amount of what’s blamed on the ocean’s rise is really due to subsidence.

Reply to  iflyjetzzz
June 20, 2021 9:22 pm

Not to mention century and millennial warming and cooling cycles.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  iflyjetzzz
June 21, 2021 2:02 am

Parts of Scandinavia have undergone Isostatic Rebound (IR) over the years as a result of melting ice relieving millions of tons of weight pushing down on the land mass, causing local sea levels to effectively fall!!! One reason overlooked by warmists/doom-sayers for apparent rising sea levels in southern UK, is IR whereby Scotland’s land mass is rising & England’s southern land mass is sinking, the Ice Age southern boundary lies on a roughly east-west line (as the UK land mass tilts), between London & Bristol!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  iflyjetzzz
June 21, 2021 3:25 am

Even if global sea levels do rise at the rate reported for the past few decades, the amount is so little and the rate is so slow it will never be any more pressing than it is right now.
IOW, except for people telling lies and misrepresenting things like erosion, ground subsidence, and historically low lying areas, as indicative of global sea level rise due to “climate change”, there is no issue whatsoever.

No one ever acts like there is a problem anyway, no matter what they say, as evidenced, for example, by prominent climate change activists continuing to buy pricey beach front real estate.

But note what happens whenever a storm surge or flood wrecks property, infrastructure, or real estate: No one talks about abandoning those places, since obviously anyplace that is flooded once will be flooded again, as will any storm surge that has occurred once, be just a matter of time before it happens again.
Instead, it becomes a make or break political issue to throw massive amounts of money at rebuilding efforts.

I doubt there is one inch of real estate in the US that will be impacted by sea level rise, if such even happens anywhere at all, before storms and floods have inundated those area at least once and more likely many times.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  John L
June 20, 2021 10:11 pm

That is the warning I have been trying to get across for two decades. The Holocene has been cooling steadily for over 7 – 8000 years and as you say, as interglacials go; it’s getting long in the tooth. The increased CO2 might be some help (provided any part of their AGW hysteria is correct), but the geological tendency is a sudden increased cooling into re-glaciation. If there is a “tipping point” it will be glaciation, not extreme warming.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 21, 2021 12:46 am

Grand solar minimum, 2030. We’ll see.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
June 21, 2021 2:08 am

I do find it rather fascinating that many maintain the claim that whilst past climate changes were due to variations in Solar output, the big shiny ball thingamajig in the sky, a massive fusion reactor possessing in excess of 99.9% of the mass of the Solar System, cannot possibly have an effect of the Earth’s climate!!! Well, we will see over the coming years where climate decides to go. Still heard nothing from anyone regarding just how much “Global Warming” there has been in the last 20+ years!!! Have we peaked? Is the apparent reduction in Solar activity going to make us all stop & think?

Reply to  John L
June 21, 2021 6:51 pm

Very old news.

Just which South of the “Mason-Dixon Line” states are you suggesting has not had a flood of Yankees people moving into it over the last two decades?

June 20, 2021 6:13 pm

Ground level homes in Miami Beach are available at rock bottom prices due to the threat of SLR.

Reply to  Scissor
June 20, 2021 7:42 pm

Somebody, with a need of a humor transplant, gave you a negative for that. griff?

Robert Bailey
Reply to  Scissor
June 20, 2021 9:00 pm

I bet I can get that place for $38 million.

Reply to  Robert Bailey
June 21, 2021 4:04 am

Are you nuts?!? It only has 9 bedrooms. $34 million, tops.

It does have 11-1/2 bathrooms, though. Somebody with a bad prostate must have had it built.

Robert Bailey
Reply to  H.R.
June 21, 2021 2:23 pm

Point well taken. I’m good with the bathroom count, though!

Reply to  H.R.
June 21, 2021 2:36 pm

Are two half baths counted as a full bath?

Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2021 3:25 am

If you wash from the waist up on Tuesday and wash from the waist down on Wednesday, then yes. Two half baths count as a full bath.

old engineer
June 20, 2021 6:25 pm

From the University of Miami, eh? Has she looked around at South Florida? Any sign of retreat, managed or otherwise?

My grandfather was one of the first settlers of Miami, and I grew up there 65 years ago. When I was in high school, I asked my Father “If we were here first how come we are not rich?’ He laughed and said “Everyone knew that land on Miami Beach was just mangrove swamp and not worth anything.”

Places that were mangrove swamp in the 1950’s are now filled with high-rise condos.

Of course, the sea level isn’t going to rise significantly in the next 80 years, so this is just one of the innumerable studies done by academia to pretend they are doing something useful.

Reply to  old engineer
June 20, 2021 6:55 pm

I remember visiting the Castillo de San Marco in St. Augustine as a child. I imagine it’s under water now.

Reply to  Scissor
June 20, 2021 7:10 pm

National Park Service must be doing scuba tours, then, eh?

Tony Sullivan
Reply to  Scissor
June 21, 2021 4:49 am

I live about 15 minutes south of the fort and I can assure you it’s as high, dry and as beautiful as ever.

Reply to  Tony Sullivan
June 21, 2021 12:24 pm

That’s a beautiful place to live!

Seems like the fort was built to last, 349 years and counting. The Spanish design engineer, Ignacio Daza, was very good apparently. I wonder what his thoughts were about elevation placement relative to sea level.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Tony Sullivan
June 21, 2021 5:51 pm

I visited it a few years ago. Great historical site.

Dave Fair
Reply to  old engineer
June 20, 2021 7:23 pm

Its amazing the number of people making lucrative careers out of mental masturbation.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  old engineer
June 21, 2021 3:57 am

Over 100 years ago, Henry Flagler dredged the Miami River and dumped the sand, called a spoil pile, near the mouth of the river in two huge heaps.
Over the subsequent decades more sand was added.
Eventually the pile of sand was deemed “property”, and so of course someone had deed to it.
It changed hands and names, (Burlingame Key, Claughton Island, and now Brickell Key) several times in the past century, but today that pile of sand is some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

Here is Burlingame Key in 1923:comment image

Here it is in 1930:comment image

Here it is by the 1960s:

And 1970:comment image

It does not look like that anymore. Now it is worth billions of dollars, many billions, and no one is retreating, they are coming up with ways to build more and more expensive real estate there.
Here is what it looked like in 2013:

And more recently still:comment image
comment image
comment image

People take land from the sea, we do not give it back.
Large sections of Boston were once open water, as was most of lower Manhattan.comment image

Lower Manhattan in the post WWII years:comment image

And now:comment image

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
June 21, 2021 6:21 pm

Fantastic pic collection!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  old engineer
June 21, 2021 4:14 am

Going back a few more years:comment image
comment image

Gary Pearse
June 20, 2021 6:44 pm

Block the water or move away. What a concept. Until this study, they had other studies that showed that 100s of millions would helplessly drown in place after the water started entering their nostrils.

A study of topics chronoligically in the clisci literature would show big disasters, followed by several repetitions of same, then filler items like sheep are banding together to hunt wolves (took a while to exhaust this genre of evermore quirky nature), to now needing planners help decide whether we should run away from sea level rise, build a dyke (can I still use this term?) or let the water pour into our nostrils. And its got to be managed socially equitably (this is a worry for toxic white males).

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 20, 2021 7:24 pm

Reminds me of this temple.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 21, 2021 4:05 am

One person with a shovel, wheelbarrow and horse drawn cart can reclaim over an acre a year from the ocean, given even a modest effort.
I have watched a single dredge pump move enough sand from offshore of Boca Raton to the beach in one night, to expand a mile of beachfront by over a hundred feet seaward and two feet up.
It took a fleet of bulldozers to keep up.
Moving earth around is trivial for modern machinery.
The Dutch protected their entire country, and reclaimed land from the sea on top of that, using, IIRC, what was available in the 19th century. IOW, muscle power and hand tools.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
June 23, 2021 3:56 pm

Now do it with a solar panel or two.

June 20, 2021 6:46 pm

Did they just demonstrate that adaptation is not only possible, but cheaper than eliminating CO2?

Reply to  MarkW
June 20, 2021 7:50 pm

Yep, they seem to have demonstrated that normal people can do what normal people do.

Amazing stuff.

Reply to  MarkW
June 21, 2021 12:45 am

Eliminating CO2 will kill everything. It has minimal,effect on SLR.

oeman 50
Reply to  MarkW
June 21, 2021 7:27 am

Please recall that Chicago was once raised several feet above Lake Michigan’s level using the advanced technology of the 1850’s.

Rich Lentz
Reply to  oeman 50
June 23, 2021 5:19 pm

Like a comment above, Mostly muscle! Some of the buildings required thousands of Jack Screws with thousands turning these jacks. Different buildings required different heights as the buildings were raised to have sewers. There are some good accounts on the internet and some not so good.

June 20, 2021 7:01 pm

Most of the solutions are delayed in arrival due to the waist deep horse manure clogging the streets of New York City.

June 20, 2021 7:09 pm

Sea level rise, especially any acceleration, is an imagined ‘problem’. It isn’t a real threat anywhere, especially where they said it would all be under water by 2000, or 2020 from previous predictions. Not. At least this century.

All the Pacific Islands are doing fine, and even building new airports and hotels on the Maldives, just a few feet above sea level. They wouldn’t be doing that if it was going to be all under water in 10 years. So they obviously don’t believe it.

All the rich and famous people buying up all the best ocean front, all the while preaching to us climate change and sea level rise right around the corner, or already in full swing, causing the ‘climate’ emergency. Not. And they are the hypocrites and liars that are in on this scam.

But if it were a threat, or if we wanted to expand our horizons and our living spaces, then we only need to look at the Dutch. They took land below sea level, and made it arable, producing more agriculture per capita and per km2 than anyone else in the world. Floating houses made out of 8 cm thick reinforced concrete shells filled underneath with flotation for a floating home that will last 150 years or longer. They even have floating barns filled with milk cows, and right in the city harbour. Same for floating vegetable farms, chicken barns, and anything else you could think of. If the Dutch can manage much of their land below sea level, then most of the rest of the world should be able to manage their land above sea level.

Reply to  Earthling2
June 20, 2021 7:30 pm

There are a few buildings/churches in Delft that are hundreds of years old, each leaning a little one direction or the other, but they are floating exactly as you say, though I was told that they used cow skins for flotation shells.

Reply to  Scissor
June 20, 2021 7:54 pm

Supposedly Irish Monks used cow skin boats and arrived in Iceland and North America even before the Vikings, around the 6th century. No wonder cows and especially bulls, were worshipped from time immemorial. One of the first domesticated farm animals, and so much was provided for by the bovine beast of burden.

Reply to  Earthling2
June 20, 2021 8:41 pm

Interesting. I had never heard that before but it appears that the Vikings drove the Monks from Iceland is substantially documented.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Earthling2
June 21, 2021 4:24 am

Supposedly St. Brendan and his companions wandered around West Virginia, leaving traces of their passing. Those cow skin coracles were pretty impressive little boats.

June 20, 2021 7:21 pm

retreat is a bad defense, the plan should to advance and charge the ocean.
So some idiots in government decide how much of your land could be lost in say next 200 years, and government gives you 10 times as much “land lost” as land area on ocean. And also allow people to buy ocean “land”.
Once people can buy ocean land, you will get ocean settlements.

June 20, 2021 7:49 pm

Well, I don’t want to live in one of those places. I prefer to be able to avoid cities at all costs these days.

jimH in CA
Reply to  Sara
June 20, 2021 8:24 pm

I agree. That’s why I live at 900 ft. in the Sierra foothills NE of Sacramento, CA.
BTW, after the great inland flood of 1862 that had the city under 8 ft of water. They decided to fill in the first floors and raised the streets 10-12 ft. The 2nd flood became the ground floor…flood problem solved.!

Reply to  Sara
June 21, 2021 3:45 am

That is precisely why my cozy little house sits on the top of a very ancient dune and the shore of Lake MichiGamu is 8 miles away.

Mark D
June 20, 2021 8:03 pm

Retreat is already happening in the U.S. and many parts of the world in the face of relatively moderate climate change and has happened throughout human history.

Where in the U.S. is this happening? News to me but I’m willing to be informed.

Reply to  Mark D
June 20, 2021 8:22 pm

Millions of people are on the march, especially to states like Florida and Texas. Just doesn’t match up with this narrative though, as those are dangerous places in hurricane season. Sure couldn’t be the reason why these people would leave their own states for such a high risk place that gets a few hurricanes every decade or so. It must be some other climate in these other states that people are retreating from. Probably all the lies and BS of the ‘climate emergency’. Well I guess it would be a climate emergency in North Dakota on a cold January 40 below day. I would flee too.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Mark D
June 20, 2021 10:26 pm

It seems that no one even questions this sort of unmitigated horse pucky any more … never mind the current crop of university “students” who write it and whose teachers approve it. It’s now such a monstrous lie, of such impressive vintage, entire schools in once great universities are now dedicated to inventing such “theories” from whole cloth.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 21, 2021 2:15 am

I suspect it’s a result of mentality, whereby a student/post grad must write a paper saying something profound, & foretelling Human caused disaster is always a best-seller in the campuses!!!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Alan the Brit
June 21, 2021 9:35 am

I understand your point, but wouldn’t that be more appropriate from journalism or creative writing students than the sciences? Learned can also be “profound”, don’t you find? I can’t understand why human causation and self hate has become so popular.

Hans Erren
Reply to  Mark D
June 21, 2021 2:51 am

Indeed, people of age are retreating from the North to Florida and Arizona. LOL

June 20, 2021 8:19 pm

What a joke
Normally alarmists cant get past simple qualitative might/may be discussions.

This isnt even that.
Lets do pretty pictures and call it science.LOL

Mark Kaiser
June 20, 2021 8:21 pm

Wow, this reads like one of my Sunday night – due Monday English Essays. “Hamlet was a tragic figure whooo…. died very tragically.” Except they got paid, I got an F.

So many paragraphs to choose from. I’ll take this one:

For example, they suggest that local governments involve residents in the buyout process from the start and provide homeowners with professional support to guide them through the process to reduce frustration.

What the h#ll does that mean?

“involve residents in the buyout process from the start” – So 10 cents on the dollar, but at least we told you right away.

“Professional support…to reduce frustration” – Be calm, these nice solders will escort you from your home (you see, the police can’t do it since they’ve all been defunded).

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Mark Kaiser
June 20, 2021 9:59 pm

Let me translate:
In pursuit of equity, the poorest people on the least valuable land should get lawyered-up early and at taxpayer expense to ensure they extract the maximum settlement for abandoning their property, which they would do anyway.

Al Miller
June 20, 2021 8:34 pm

I promise to retreat as quickly as I can over the next ten thousand years!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Al Miller
June 20, 2021 10:31 pm

I doubt you’ve got more than a thousand before sea levels begin to decline rapidly due to polar glaciation. The Holocene is already old by interglacial standards. It could last a millennium or more but could also reverse itself well within the next 1000 years.

June 20, 2021 8:38 pm

Even the most basic discussion about adaption must include real case studies about coastal engineering actually happening.

For example the 2011 Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami have changed some coasts by up to 1.0m. (not 2mm/yr SLR).
Japanese coastal engineering for earthquake and Tsunami cost $Billions.

Consider the Status Quo of no SLR
Developed cities such as Miami still need to spend $ on coastal protection.
Developing cities such as Dhaka still need to create proper urban planning guidelines to limit development in flood areas.

The extra cost or effort to adapt SLR is minimal.

June 20, 2021 8:46 pm

These papers are nesting dolls. To see where they get the numbers, one must follow the chain of references.

The minimum of 4 million people at risk assumes a sea level rise of 90 cm by 2100 – 35 inches, .44”/year – an increase of 3x or 4x from the current rate. It’s nuts that the paper doesn’t bother to guess at the probability of this scenario. We can’t rationally devote resources to a project without a guess of its likelihood.

They get the 4 million number from a 2016 paper:

That paper uses sea level rates from Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009), using scenarios from AR4. Given the massive funding and flood of climate science papers, couldn’t they find more recent estimates?

Hans Erren
Reply to  Larry
June 21, 2021 2:54 am

The fun of an invented exponential rise is that if you wait long enough you can make up a really scary scenario. (that is the the trick revealed)

Hans Erren
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 21, 2021 2:55 am

Problem is that sea level rise is linear and not scary at all.

Zig Zag Wanderer
June 20, 2021 9:23 pm

Because people are too stupid to do this themselves. Obviously we need bigger governments, and more taxes, to be able to ‘manage’ the poor ignorant folks.

I wonder what people did before socialists? Did they just stay still and drown

June 20, 2021 9:24 pm

I think this “managed retreat” is a brilliant idea, and the first people to be compensated should be the Obamas, who have made the terrible mistake of buying very expensive beachfront property and then thinking that they could protect it by enhancing the sea wall which their neighbours wanted removed because, while it protected the Obamas’ property, it was thought to be damaging for the neighbours. Clearly a few billion dollars in compensation for the Obamas should be paid right now – no need to wait for the sea level to actually rise, “the science” is settled and the Obamas’ property is definitely doomed. I’m confident that the ordinary citizens of America who have not bought beachfront property would be happy to pay enormous amounts to ensure the comfort of their ex-president.

John Hultquist
June 20, 2021 9:25 pm

Nice colored drawings with buildings, fields, forests, and mountains.
Not South Florida then!
And the tax payers were charged how much for these?

June 20, 2021 9:25 pm

Next they will write a long a learned diatribe as to their next great discovery..People have feet.

Of course adaption is the logical and only economical answer to climate change/sea level rise/delta subsidence.
Which makes all their Catastrophic Climate Change Garbage even more obvious for the Con that lies in their hearts.

Rory Forbes
June 20, 2021 10:41 pm

Atmospheric Science researcher Katharine Mach argues…

Yes, she does “argue”, but not very well and clearly from a lack of any real research. The authors of those “studies” appear to have only passed their courses on “writing important sounding study titles”.

June 20, 2021 11:43 pm

“Managed Threat” or “Managed Retreat” associated with CO2 SLR is non-existent.

An example of a “Real Threat” to go with a “Emergency/unplanned Retreat” would be the Mt Pinatubo Eruption. In a matter of days in excess of 1 cubic km of Lahar was dumped on the surrounding area, filling in valleys rivers, lakes and towns. The homes of 50,000 families essentially disappeared.

No such comparable climate disaster has occurred.

It angers me when alarmists BS about small things that might happen in the future when people are suffering real things that are happening now.

Serge Wright
June 20, 2021 11:47 pm

This is more build back better BS. Two things are certain. One is that we face no threat of rising seas and therefore there is no reason for any mitigation this century. And secondly, the call to relocate and rebuild will be purely a Marxist exercise in wealth redistribution based on race, gender and equity BS.

June 20, 2021 11:55 pm

What is all this fuss about ?
Don’t they know that Obama healed the planet and stopped sea level rise years ago ?

Reply to  Petit_Barde
June 21, 2021 12:14 am

Well, I guess you’ve gotta give him credit for putting his money where his mouth is. He obviously believes he solved sea level rise.
Need I apply /s?

Reply to  Davidf
June 21, 2021 12:50 am


Stephen Skinner
June 21, 2021 12:29 am

“Our findings show that an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases leads to significant changes in atmospheric circulation and tropical rainfall patterns,”
Your ‘findings’ should show that a trace gas has increased by 1 molecule in 10,000 over the last 150 years. Special words like ‘findings’, ‘increasing concentration’, ‘significant changes’ are all magic words that imply something special and all the self righteous (self deluded) have to do is use them.

June 21, 2021 12:46 am

already in use at multiple places on the UK coast…

for example:

Managed realignment at Steart, Somerset | Institution of Civil Engineers (

old engineer
Reply to  griff
June 21, 2021 10:32 am


The take-away part of your reference is this:

“National and European directives dictate that the Environment Agency must offset intertidal habitat losses, as caused by coastal squeeze….  Proposals for projects such as The Bristol Port Company’s development of its Avonmouth container [facility] identified Steart as an ideal location for compensatory habitat. The site at Steart is in fact large enough to compensate for 40% of the total losses in the region.”

You can bet the residents of Steart weren’t asked if they wanted to give up their homes so the Bristol Port Company could build a container ship port somewhere else along the coast.

Despite all the wonderful sounding virtue signaling in the referenced article, it boils down to this: a small village was destroyed, without the residents consent, so that a large and powerful company could build a container ship port.

Are you saying that’s what “managed retreat” is all about?

Reply to  old engineer
June 22, 2021 12:59 am

The inhabitants of Steart village are now better protected against coastal flooding and tidal surge as part of this scheme: that was a key element.

Loss of natural habitat and compensation for it is a separate issue, but one addressed also by the managed retreat scheme

Stephen Skinner
June 21, 2021 1:01 am
June 21, 2021 1:49 am

I love one of the delicious ironies of this debate.
The answers are so often right in front of our faces.
A for instance. Has anyone ever heard of the Dutch battle against the sea?
They have been building land forms successfully for centuries.
Maldives, and others – pay attention!!!

Hans Erren
Reply to  nankerphelge
June 21, 2021 4:17 am

Have you heard about the palm islands in Dubai built by the Dutch?

June 21, 2021 2:17 am

Where I live, neighbourhood crime levels are actively driven by “real estate developers”. While I have plenty evidence, my only proof was a confrontation with a developer that wanted my land. Thusly I pronounce that, in my personal opinion, I see a larger, international pattern of violence and crime instigated by people who profit by our need to trade and use land.
This entire schpiel of a “study” above, looks to me like a SuperPAC of land developers joining the drive for “rules-based governance”, or to be more precise: government in the hands of the criminal mafias ruling as a kakastocracy of scum. Their ‘solutions’ revolve around population containment and control, with maybe a bit of insurance-driven caution. The land mafia and the insurance mafia joining hands around the udder of the bankster mafia’s bitch, the political mafia.
I used to get so irritated with the old folk back when, they used to see the Commies behind every bit of progress.
Today I know the difference between progress and improvement, but the youngsters don’t want to listen…

June 21, 2021 2:21 am

I still believe the best response to climate change is to regulate car emission. Laws should be put in place to push car makers to transform themselves. Supercars like nissan gt-r falls onto the crosshairs.

Reply to  Earthwell
June 21, 2021 6:26 am

What do climate change and car emissions have to do with each other? What effect would it have? Got any proof!

sky king
June 21, 2021 2:39 am

I executed a managed retreat from the frigid Oregon Coast to Subic Bay, PH. Have only worn shorts and flip flops for 6 years but other than that no great sacrifice!

Hans Erren
June 21, 2021 2:47 am

Come to the Netherlands to learn about walled resist. (And that land subsidence is a far bigger threat than sea level rise.)

Leo Smith
June 21, 2021 4:23 am

All methods of flood protection and alleviation are well known, easily costed and mostly pretty simple to implement.

Except of course to politicians and climate activists.

We alsos have – at leats in Europe – a massive landfill problem We have waste we are not allowed to burn. Or bury.

We could be creating useful land out of salt marsh. You probably wouldn’t build on it because of methane, and subsidence, but it would make perfect sea walls and dykes. (levees). Or airports

June 21, 2021 5:34 am

Equitable managed retreat ?

East Anglia
or even the cliffs of the English channel, loosing houses every year or two into the sea and thats from the top of the 30 foot high cliff.

San Andreas anyone ?

June 21, 2021 6:26 am

this is what passes for higher learning these days


June 21, 2021 6:55 am

Managed Retreat => the wussification of the West.

June 21, 2021 7:58 am

They must have had global warming due to CO2 during the Hellenistic Period. I mean nothing else causes sea rise, right?

Steve Z
June 21, 2021 8:09 am

So these brilliant researchers probably propose using government funds to buy out ocean-front land from their owners and move them farther inland. Did they ever consider the price of ocean-front land these days?

For people who own multi-million-dollar homes near the beach, how many of them will just pack up and move inland, because maybe the sea level might rise by a few inches before they’re dead? These people are probably used to driving to higher ground if a hurricane is approaching, but they do enjoy the nearby ocean most of the time.

Besides, for the “managed retreat planners”, if they do manage to “buy out” a homeowner along the beach, where would the evicted beachcombers re-settle? Most of the intervening land is owned by other people, who won’t want to move, so the “bought out” people would have to move several miles inland, where land values per square foot are probably less than 10% of those near the beach. Would they need 10 times as much land to get their money back?

If “managed retreat” planners needed an example of the futility of their plans, they should consider the man who said he would “stop the seas from rising”, who bought a $14 million ocean-front estate on the island of Martha’s Vineyard after retiring from the presidency. Somehow Barack and Michelle Obama aren’t very worried about sea level rise!

June 21, 2021 8:11 am

In other words sell before the sea level rise, get ahead of the rush.

Shouldn’t the U of Miami be moving.

And why would selling property be socially equitable?

June 21, 2021 9:50 am

What part of BELOW sea-level don’t you understand?
I’ve been asking that question for decades, along with asking Hollywood types, “What don’t you understand about EROSION?” as their Malibu homes slide off the cliffs.
While Holland has held the sea back for hundreds of years, most humans have figured out that it isn’t a good idea to LIVE in a flood-plain or below sea-level.
Matthew 7:24-27 NIV The Wise and Foolish Builders
Even children learn common sense building practices.
Any why are so many Pacific islands inhabited and many others abandoned? I’m guessing it doesn’t take more than waking up ONE morning with seawater sloshing around your feet to call a Realtor.
No one has a “right” to live anywhere at MY expense.
All that said and this: We learn from illegal aliens to MOVE AWAY from danger and toward safety and opportunity at any cost to improve the lives of our family.
OK, I’m rambling. Hopefully, some of this is relevant to the discussion.

E. Martin
June 21, 2021 11:13 am

How about showing the USCRN temperature chart occasionally?

June 21, 2021 11:18 am

University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science should buy some land, build their ‘managed retreat’ response to climate change into the structural design, cost being no object, then see who chooses to live and work from there, cost being no object.
If you build it they will come… no!

Russell Haley
June 21, 2021 4:07 pm

I lived in the Cayman Isands for a while. Up until the 1990’s NOBODY would ever build at the water. It was well understood that building next to the ocean was a stupid idea. Then, inextricably, companies started buying up and developing waterfront property. They built MASSIVE hotels right next to the water on an artificially sanded beach.

Now, the hotel owners are up in arms because, gasp, the beach is eroding.

I would say stupidity is someone else’s problem, except that rich people tend to make these things OUR problems and walk away with the money in their pockets.

June 22, 2021 3:59 pm

Kraan conducted the first comprehensive overview of equity concerns that have been raised on voluntary property buyouts and provide policy options for addressing these concerns.

For example, they suggest that local governments involve residents in the buyout process from the start and provide homeowners with professional support to guide them through the process to reduce frustration.

And who would the property buyers be? Investors willing to take the risk and develop the land into something of greater value, or taxpayers forced to fund these purchases who then watch their cities sell the land to developers after nothing happens anyway?

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