That impact can be lessened through a variety of interlinking policies, with dunes, by elevating homes, by removing the most vulnerable houses, by moving farther away from the water and by making a practiced evacuation plan.
"All of these things have to be done with an adaptive strategy that adapts to the changing sea level rise over time," Vietri said. "We cannot sit here and have a static situation. It's got to be dynamic. We've got to be able to move with the water."
And on those islands where there's no room to move?
"Ultimately, I don't know. I don't know. You're right. It's an issue," he said. "You can't build a protective beach in front of them."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500