SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

March 29, 2013

Americans oppose paying for beaches ravaged by storms

(Continued)

Sand dunes helped protect the New Jersey town of Seaside Park more than its dune-less neighbor Seaside Heights when Superstorm Sandy hit last fall, said Laurie Mcgilvray, a government coastline science expert.

Williams said the public’s attitude about not doing much to protect current beach development would be fine if it were 100 years ago. “But we’ve got tremendous trillions of dollars of a tourist economy that depends on the coast.

“You should expect that if you are going to use the coast, you need to put some money in to maintain it,” he said.

But people surveyed said money is an issue.

When it came to the general question of who should pay to protect the coast, 60 percent of the public said it should be paid for by local property owners and businesses, not the general taxpayers. And when it comes to specific solutions, about 80 percent of those surveyed said the money should come from local property taxes, not federal or state income taxes.

Nearly half, 47 percent, said the government should prohibit people from rebuilding structures damaged by storms.

The survey also found that 82 percent of the public believes global warming is already happening. About 3 out of 4 people said rising sea levels caused by global warming is a serious problem.

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