The coastal zone is a popular topic, with much focus on the impacts of population increase and natural hazards. Coastal hazards have not increased, but risks of occupancy are now higher than ever with so many people crowding into sensitive environments that are not suited to human habitation. Coastal zones attract urban sprawl and industrial development in the first instance because these seem like nice places to live and play and in the second instance because of the ease of industrialization and commercialization near ports and harbors on level coastal plains. The problem, as appreciated by many researchers, is that there are too many people in the coastal zone. As noted in the Foreword, already more than 40% of the world's population lives within 100 km of the coast, and that percentage is projected to reach 75% in the next few decades....

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