Dr. Orrin Pilkey and Gilbert Gaul on the Future of American Coastal Development

Orrin Pilkey & Gilbert Gaul on the massive risks ahead

Two great guests join Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham on this special episode of the American Shoreline Podcast.  How should we manage future coastal development with the prospect of higher sea levels and stronger, more frequent storms? And, how did we get here.

We ask the renowned Dr. Orrin H.  Pilkey, Duke Geology Professor Emeritus, who has been contemplating, researching, and writing about the topic for decades. His latest collaboration with his son, Keith Pilkey -- Sea Level Rise: A Slow Tsunami On America's Shores -- sounds the alarm on the coastal crisis looming for the country.  Orrin is joined by Gil Gaul, an award-winning journalist and author, who released his own seminal book on how and why we have developed the shoreline the way we have and the significant risks ahead. The Geography of Risk: Epic Storms, Rising Seas, and the Cost of America's Coasts is one of the best-researched and comprehensive books on the topic.  

Consider this: Five of the most expensive hurricanes in history have made landfall since 2005: Katrina ($160 billion), Ike ($40 billion), Sandy ($72 billion), Harvey ($125 billion), and Maria ($90 billion). With more property than ever in harm’s way, and the planet and oceans warming dangerously, it won’t be long before we see a $250 billion hurricane. Why? Because Americans have built $3 trillion worth of property in some of the riskiest places on earth: barrier islands and coastal floodplains. And they have been encouraged to do so.

Jump into this wide-ranging exploration of American shoreline development with two of the best thinkers on the topic. Upfront, we confess we did encounter a few internet glitches in the recording but we hope you can forgive us.  This is a don't-miss interview!  Only on ASPN.

Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.