Gambling against Nature: A Losing Venture

The Good Morning America story that focused on the erosion of Jekyll Island’s Driftwood Beach touched briefly on Linger Longer Communities’ beachside town center project, reporting that Linger Longer is well aware of the need to balance development interests with the risks that attend oceanfront building. Lost in that report is the fact that those risks are likely to increase with the passing of time since projections for sea level rise associated with global warming are on an acceleration curve with no end in sight. Consequently, what might pass for prudent beachfront real estate development now could well be seen as folly within a decade or two.

Of course, the developers who plan to build nearly 500 oceanfront condo and time-share units as part of the Jekyll Island Authority’s so-called revitalization program can afford short-sightedness, for they will sell these units to private buyers and pass the risk on to them. The JIA also seems more than willing to gamble against nature and to place the profit motive above common sense, as shown by the Authority’s selection of a 45-acre oceanfront tract as the original site of the Jekyll town center project and approval of design guidelines that allow for six-story beachfront structures.   

Click here to view the Jekyll story by "Good Morning America."