Brant Beach, Long Beach Township, New Jersey
This undated photograph shows the shrinking front yards of shorefront houses in Loveladies, New Jersey, a Long Beach Island town near Brant Beach.
New Jersey's government historically has given local municipalities a great deal of local power over coastal development. That has led to shortsighted rules in areas such as Brant Beach, according to consultant Susan Halsey.
Despite a "perpetual state of erosion," Halsey's prepared remarks said, many buildings front right on the beach, and it has been difficult to obtain legal authority to protect existing sand dunes or build new ones.
"They want to do things on a massive scale and want us to give bureaucrats carte blanche in perpetuity," one resident complained to the New York Times
The result: continuing controversy, delaying protective dune-building on this and other barrier islands.
—Richard A. Lovett
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Photograph by Dennis McDonald/Getty Images