Sooner or later our society must back off the beaches as concerns increase about beach quality and as preservation of major coastal cities becomes a higher priority. The first step will be to discourage beachfront urban renewal. That would mean moving or demolishing threatened buildings, prohibiting the rebuilding (and certainly the super-sizing) of destroyed buildings, and ending further subsidy of beachfront development, including tax-supported beach nourishment and federal flood insurance. It's time to learn to live with the shoreline, not on it.Other things Pilkey doesn't like, US Army Corps of Engeering policies and seawalls.
Twenty-five years ago, when I began speaking and writing about seawalls and how they destroy beaches, I was shocked at the tenor of the response to this idea both from professional engineers and from developers and politicians. The attacks on me were often quite personal, and letters damning me were written to my university president and to the papers. As a scientist, I was unaccustomed to such personal attacks.