Many states hit hardest by extreme weather and climate change impacts are the least prepared
Analysis from the Surfrider Foundation outlines coastal states' responsiveness to shoreline erosion, rising tides and extreme weather events
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Dec. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Surfrider Foundation today announced the release of its annual State of the Beach Report Card, which grades 30 U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states, in addition to the territory of Puerto Rico, on policies to address climate change impacts, shoreline erosion and extreme weather. The results indicate that the majority of state policies assessed are providing mediocre to poor levels of coastal protection, with some of the lowest-scoring states located in regions that are heavily impacted by extreme weather events. In addition, the trends reveal that while significant improvements are critical, states also need continued federal support for the Coastal Zone Management Act and funding for agencies such as NOAA.
Nearly half of the states assessed scored a D or F, including areas that have fared the worst in recent hurricanes and extreme weather disasters. While the Northeast and West Coast states earned a B average, the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico states collectively scored a D or below average. In the last three years, hurricanes, including Florence, Maria, Harvey and Irma, have devastated communities located in the lowest-graded areas.