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A Rising Tide Along the Coast

Never before has coastal research been more relevant and more important to society’s well being. The numbers are staggering:

  • More than 155 million people (53 percent of the population) reside in U.S. coastal counties comprising less than 11 percent of the land area of the lower 48 states.

  • More than 155 million people (53 percent of the population) reside in U.S. coastal counties comprising less than 11 percent of the land area of the lower 48 states.

  • Roughly 1,500 homes are lost to erosion each year.

  • Nearly 180 million people visit the U.S. coast every year, and coastal states account for 85 percent of U.S. tourism revenues. The tourism industry is the nation’s largest employer and second largest contributor to gross domestic product.

  • 71 percent of annual U.S. disaster losses are the result of coastal storms.

  • Close to 350,000 homes and buildings are located within 150 meters of the ocean.Within 60 years, one out of every four of those structures will be destroyed.

Last updated: February 23, 2012