Studies Examine the Effectiveness of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act in Saving Money and Reducing Development

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) provides landscape-level conservation benefits for fish, wildlife, and plant resources by reducing the intensity of development. A 2007 U.S. Government Accountability Office report reviewed the extent to which development has occurred in Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) units and the extent to which federal agencies provided financial assistance within CBRS units. This report found that about 97 percent of all CBRS units remained undeveloped or experienced minimal development. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Coastal Research analyzed the economic benefits from CBRA and found that CBRA reduced federal coastal disaster expenditures by $9.5 billion between 1989 and 2013, and forecasts that additional savings will range between $11 and $108 billion by 2068 (in 2016 dollars). Another study published in Land Use Policy in 2021, examined how the removal of federal subsidies affected investments in coastal protection infrastructure. This study found that parcels within the CBRS have 78 percent lower odds of being armored with structures, such as seawalls. Furthermore, two separate studies, one published through PLOS ONE in 2020 and a second published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment in 2022, evaluated the effectiveness of CBRA in discouraging development on coastal barriers coastal barriers
Learn more about coastal barrier landforms.

Learn more about coastal barriers
, and found that CBRA has been successful in its intention of decreasing development rates and densities of hazard prone coastal areas.

Story Tags

Habitat conservation