Poll Suggests Local Property Owners, Businesses Pay to Protect - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Survey Suggests Local Property Owners, Businesses Pay to Protect Beaches

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

BOWERS BEACH, Del. - Bowers Beach is just one of the many coastal communities that could be impacted by rising sea levels. After a national poll was done asking who should pay to protect the cost, more Americans feel that that money should come from local taxpayers and businesses. People who live in Bowers Beach say otherwise.

"It should be a collective effort," said Bob McDevitt of Bowers Beach.

McDevitt says and others everyone should pay to help restore and protect beaches.

According to a national poll conducted by researchers at Stanford University, 60 percent of those surveyed say the money should be paid for by local property owners and businesses, not general taxpayers. It's something people in bowers beach say shouldn't be the case.

"For generations people that were 100 miles away from the beach, their families have been coming here for generations," said McDevitt.

According to the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, 85 percent of tourism-related revenue in the U.S. is generated in coastal states.

That's revenue that can help folks in those states prepare for rising sea levels, something many say is coming.

"Here in the coastal communities we know it's a fact, how bad it's gong to be we don't know," said McDevitt.

Researchers at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, say sea levels could rise one to five feet by the year 2100.

As Americans polled in the Stanford University study say they want to prepare - they just don't want to pay.

Others polled say they think the government should step in to prevent damages from future storms.

One in three people favor the government spending millions to build big sea walls and to replenish beaches.

Eighty-two percent believe global warming is already happening, and 47 percent say the government should prohibit people from rebuilding home damages by storms.

Researchers who conducted this study say this is the first national study that looked at how Americans feel about adapting to change brought on by global warming.

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