Tonight I went to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute to watch “Shored Up,” a documentary on the New Jersey Shore, Hurricane Sandy, and rising sea levels. The film is part of Bryn Mawr College’s Earth at the Brink #atthebrink series, which highlights environmental change on “health, wealth, and humanity.”
The film interviewed residents, mayors, scientists, engineers, policy makers, and surfers. Opinions from both sides were shown, but it was pretty obvious that the film sided with science. The vicious cycle of beach sand remodeling, rock groins, tax dollars, tourism, and erosion make the situation never-ending. Billions of federal tax dollars are being spent to dig up sand from the bottom of the ocean floor to deposit on the shores, only to be washed away with each wave. Essentially, we are paying to protect and save structures that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The rich are moving in, closer and closer to the shore line, and pushing out the original inhabitants who have lived there for generations. As a result, some areas (the rich areas) are more prioritized for receiving federal beach restoration projects. The film showed this contrast between beach restoration efforts in Harvey Beach to Union City. A storm comes to destroy the houses and the beach, and then the cycle repeats.I happen to live in New Jersey (but not near the shore) and remember when Hurricane Sandy happened. My Sandy experience was thankfully safe and short. I was a senior in high school and about to send in my college application Early Decision to Rice. The power went off and I had to drive to a friend’s house to make the deadline before everyone lost power. I don’t really like going to the beach, and I would never live near the beach. I fully believe in global warming and that humans are to blame, but there is no easy solution to stop the problem.