Ten Endangered U.S. Beach Towns Named

Ten Endangered U.S. Beach Towns Named
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Surfside, Texas

Once, the Brazos River flowed into the sea near this barrier island community of stilt homes. But in 1929 it was diverted to a new channel 7 miles (11 kilometers) away.

Since then the Brazos delta, which once supplied sand for the island, has eroded away, and new sand coming downriver has gone elsewhere. Jetties and a shipping channel are affecting the migration of sand from other sources.

Furthermore, the pumping of water from deep aquifers is causing the already low-lying island to sink farther.

The result, said geologist Richard Watson, is the most "complete collection" of human-made causes of beach erosion to be found anywhere in Texas.

Now, when storms hit, the damage can be especially severe, he added.

—Richard A. Lovett

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—Photograph courtesy Richard L. Watson
 
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