Why is the coastal zone important in the United States?
All states must come up with a coastal zone management plan that allows for changes in the coastline. This is becoming more important as the sea level rises and we lose coastline.
For more information on this issue go to the web site for the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) under National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and look for more information on the Coastal Zone Management Act http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/ . The United States Geological Survey (USGS) also has a coastal and marine geology program with information on coastal issues http://marine.usgs.gov/ .
“ EPA study estimates that one meter rise inundates 7,000 sq mi of dry land, 50-80% of U.S. wetlands, and costs over $100 billion in the United States alone” ( http://users.erols.com/jtitus/Holding/NRJ.html#shore ) . One meter rise in sea level means the following amount of beach erosion for the different regions in the U.S.:
Northeast = 50-100 meters erosion
Florida coast = 100-1,000 meters erosion
California coast = 200-400 meters erosion
(Everts, 1985; Kyper and Sorensen, 1985; Kana et al, 1984; Bruun, 1962; Wilcoxen, 1986)
“ The Washington State Department of Ecology compiled a total of 15,000 potentially relevant sampling records. These data are needed to estimate the flux (movement) of toxic chemicals between the ocean boundary and Puget Sound.”
“ Data were sought for selected toxic heavy metals, persistent organic compounds, pesticides, and hormone disruptors. The metals data appear adequate to estimate fluxes at the ocean boundary and to provide representative water column concentrations for some cells of the Puget Sound box model. There is much less data on organic contaminants. The most useful data are for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in the Strait of Georgia.”
“ This calculation gives a total of 124,185 lost recreation days. Multiplying this number of days by $250 per day yields a mid- range estimate of $3 1 .O million dollars.”
“ The business segments most negatively affected by the spill included lodges and resorts, Alaska-based package tour companies, guided outdoor activities, charter and sightseeing boats. These businesses did not have the opportunity to reap spillbenefits (such as spending for accommodations) because they were located away from spill clean-up operations or operated a business which couldn't serve clean-up needs.”
“ In 2001, researchers at the Auke Bay Laboratories, NOAA Fisheries, conducted a survey of the mid-to-upper intertidal in areas of the sound that were heavily or moderately oiled in 1989. Researchers dug over 9,000 pits, at 91 sites, over a 95-day field season. Over half the sites were contaminated with Exxon Valdez oil. Oil was found at different levels of intensity from light sheening; to oil droplets; to heavy oil where the pit would literally fill with oil. They estimated that approximately 16,000 gallons (60,000 liters), of oil remained.”
“ When the Restoration Plan was first drafted, it was assumed that oil in the environment would disappear over time and resources injured in the spill would begin a path toward recovery. We now understand that several resources injured in the original oiling continue to struggle even though they are no longer in direct contact with oil. The current status of killer whales is a clear example of these long-term effects.”