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Rebuild or Retreat

Posted: October 26, 2017

As climate change impacts rising sea levels and extreme weather events, coastal communities around the globe are threatened. New Jersey’s shorelines offer a case study on the difficult realities of a warming world. What does the future hold as sea levels rise and how should communities respond? Some residents want to continue rebuilding homes and businesses along the coast. And others say it’s time to stop investing in flood-prone areas. Who’s right? Should they Rebuild or Retreat?

This series was produced by Geraldine Moriba, Ed Hersh, Shayla Harris and Maya Navon.

NewsHour Weekend: Five years since Hurricane Sandy

In 2012 Hurricane Sandy decimated the East Coast, killing at least 60 people and causing an estimated $70 billion in property damage. It’s forced residents in Sea Bright, New Jersey, to decide whether to support pricey taxpayer projects to protect vulnerable property or encourage property owners to take federal buy-outs. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Stephanie Sy reports.

How one New Jersey business rebuilt after disaster

Sea Bright, New Jersey, business owner Frank Bain lost everything in his hardware store during Hurricane Sandy. The local community came together to help. See how Bain’s Hardware is doing 5 years after the storm.

This family lost everything during Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy destroyed Brian McMullin’s Sea Bright, New Jersey, ice cream shop. Now he worries about the next storm. Is his community more prepared now than they were in 2012?



PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Lead funding for Peril and Promise is provided by Dr. P. Roy Vagelos and Diana T. Vagelos. Major support is provided by The Marc Haas Foundation and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.

Funding for Sinking Cities also provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and PBS.