Holmberg Technologies, Inc.
7161 Brookhaven Terrace
Englewood, FL 34224
Phone: 941-468-8802
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INSURANCE, BANKING, REAL ESTATE and COASTAL EROSION

Many industries are adversely affected by coastal erosion. Commercial fishing suffers when wetlands and nearshore areas decline because critical juvenile habitat is lost. Coastal tourism in general suffers for obvious reasons.

After record losses inflicted by recent storms on erosion weakened shorelines, the insurance industry has retreated from some coastal areas and increased rates dramatically in others. Additionally, the National Flood Insurance Program, which subsidizes flood insurance for coastal dwellers, has come under attack by "inland" and environmental interests who believe that coastal owners should pay for living in harms way.

In some critically eroding areas, banks, fearing loss of property, have balked at extending thirty-year mortgages to threatened coastal property. A recent legislative initiative tied to ending the federal flood insurance subsidy contained a provision that no bank belonging to the FDIC could extend mortgage money to homes in erosion prone zones that lacked a fifty-year erosion control program with a guaranteed funding source. This captured the attention of the real estate industry, among others, who managed to block the recurrent proposal .

Several studies have been done comparing the value of coastal real estate fronted by a sandy beach versus comparable property fronted only by a seawall or revetment. Properties with a sandy beach are valued about 50% higher. In some areas, where seawalls and revetments are not permitted (because of their well-known negative effects to adjacent properties) coastal land values truly plummet as they become threatened with loss of protective and recreational beachfront.

On the Great Lakes, long beachless stretches resemble dangerous junk zones containing generations of failed walls, groins, rip-rap, homespun breakwaters - where everything including kitchen sinks have been dumped to block advancing waters. Numerous homes have been lost and many have been moved.

Technology currently exists to efficiently reverse unnatural erosion plaguing developed shorelines. Considerable resistance to the technology presently exists, however, because the operant principle is based on natural coastal processes not acknowledged by the U.S. Army Corps of engineers and the industrial complex which has grown up around this regulatory bureaucracy. These natural processes are nevertheless well-established by the findings of coastal geologists..
(For additional information, see Coastal Restoration Technology, Geological Evaluation of Traditional Coastal Engineering Practice, Sea Level Rise and Beach Growth, and Dr. Pilkey vs. The Army Corps of Engineers.)


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