Thirteen barrier islands

Tidal creek: a backbarrier creek through which water flows during flood and ebb tide. Since these islands get the brunt of ocean waves and storm systems, they evolve constantly—sometimes even being split in two by particularly devastating hurricanes.

Prolonged sinking of the marshes behind the barriers has converted these former vegetated wetlands to open-water areas. This often occurs at the expense of the island.

Thirteen barrier islands

To slow this process, state and federal agencies are artificially nourishing the islands to keep them in place and preserve the cities, livelihoods and ecological habitats behind them. The back-barrier lies on the shoreward side of the island. Several bars offer nightly entertainment and events like the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival draws crowds every year. On wide barrier islands, the landscape behind the foredunes gently rolls as dunes alternate with low-lying swales. Some engineered structures can actually accelerate the rate of erosion. Islands that have been preserved in their natural state can move with storms, shifting their shapes over time. Cities such as Miami Beach and Atlantic City are on barrier islands. Barrier islands bear the full force of coastal storms and hurricanes, buffering the mainland coast. Most scientists agree that sea level has been gradually rising over the last thousand years, and this rise may be accelerating today due to global warming. Beach nourishment projects typically require ever increasing amounts of sand to maintain a static beachfront, and are therefore economically viable for only short periods of time.

Hatteras Island is southwest of the Cape and is absolutely worth a visit—especially when the sun is shining. They also serve aesthetic purposes and for years, have inspired artists, poets, writers, bird watchers, boaters, picnickers, sunbathers and swimmers. On wide barrier islands, the landscape behind the foredunes gently rolls as dunes alternate with low-lying swales.

In contrast, wave-dominated areas form long barrier islands with narrow bays and narrow, shallow inlets.

barrier island examples

Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis When hurricanes like Florence make landfall, the first things they hit often are barrier islands — thin ribbons of sand that line the U. Some barrier islands may form when low-lying areas of spits, extensions of beaches that protrude into a bay, are breached by the sea.

Insider Tip: The destination is called Amelia Island but the town itself has another name.

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Georgia's Barrier Islands