Managed Retreat

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Managed retreat is a body of work focused on moving infrastructure and housing away from eroding shorelines in response to sea level rise or coastal retreat. The ability to move assets away from shorelines may have a strong effect on willingness to restore sediment supply on shorelines.


  • Regulatory setbacks may not include enough room to later move a building.
  • Individual septic systems on shorelines may increase difficulty of moving.
  • Can revolving loan programs reduce barriers to moving a house?
  • How do local codes incentivize or fail to incentivize managed retreat?
  • How will landowners respond to sea level rise?
  • How does Shoreline Management Act implementation succeed or fail to prepare for or address managed retreat.
  • Beach management using measured bluff recession rates may provide a basis for analysis.
  • The Beach Strategies for Nearshore Restoration and Protection in Puget Sound has useful analysis of variable shoreline condition but has not yet been applied to planning for managed retreat.
  • Mach et al 2019 describes patterns observed in FEMA-funded buyout to date, the primary mechanisms currently used for managed retreat.
  • There are no existing real estate disclosure requirements related to coastal erosion.
  • How will insurance coverage affect managed retreat?