Date of Award

Fall 2001

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Policy Studies - (M.S.)

Department

Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Nancy L. Jackson

Second Advisor

Karl F. Nordstrom

Third Advisor

Eric M. Katz

Abstract

Recently, local governments have started to realize the effectiveness of dune building as a form of hazard mitigation and have engineered dunes for this purpose. This study evaluates dune management at the local level; specifically, short term management practices, physical constraints, dune management participants, and sources of guidance. A review of municipal regulations, topographic surveys, and interviews with local officials were conducted in four New Jersey communities: Belmar, Spring Lake, Sea Girt and Manasquan. The results of this study indicate that dunes were established as part of local hazard mitigation planning in response to the 1992 storm, and topographic surveys reveal characteristics of a highly developed coast with extensive physical constraints. Local documents address dune vegetation and restricted activities, and the local Departments of Public Works have the most direct influence over the daily management activities. These activities promote recreation and tourism, while hindering dune growth and mobility. Thus, the integrity of the dune and the protection that is serves is compromised. Ideally, communities could be provided with information on local government structures, timelines for better coordination, dune building techniques, and a forum for information sharing through annual primers.

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