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This actually might not be as bad of a dialogue to have as some people might think. Simply pay the people the money that would have otherwise been spent on rebuilding, and allow them to move to another location. Of course, nothing is ever simple.
As the Gulf Coast reels from two catastrophic storms in a month, and the Carolinas and Florida deal with damage and debris from hurricanes this year and last, even some supporters of coastal development are starting to ask a previously unthinkable question: is it time to consider retreat from the coast?
Yes, said Howard Marlowe, president of Marlowe & Company, a lobbying firm that represents counties and local governments, often in seeking support for coastal infrastructure, like roads, sewers and beach replenishment. “I think we need to be asking that and discussing that, and the federal government needs to provide leadership,” Mr. Marlowe said.
He added, “I have never been an advocate for the federal government telling people that they have to move out, but it’s important to have a discussion at all levels of government about what can be done to make sure more people do not put themselves in harm’s way. It will not be an easy dialogue.”