Coasts / Shorelines
Beaches Are Constantly on the Move
Shoreline science helps the National Park Service better understand the movement of sand along our dynamic shores, and is central to our goal of protecting Fire Island National Seashore for future generations. Learn more about coastal research at Fire Island.
Barrier Island Evolution
After Hurricane Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, for instance, the changes to the barrier beach were hard to overlook. The history-making hurricane brought with it high water levels and large waves that scoured sand from the dunes and beach face. In some places, the force of moving water pushed sand over the top of dunes and across the width of the island.
While storms can result in drastic landscape change virtually overnight, these larger-scale shifts also serve as a reference point from which we can observe smaller more gradual shifts in our shoreline. Whether slow or sudden, subtle or obvious, natural landscape change is certain and is an integral part of the evolution of the barrier island.