Coastal Land Resources
Coastal lands are probably the most rapidly changing and economically significant part of the Earth's physical environment. According to United Nations reporting, presently about 40 percent of the world's population lives within 60 miles (100 kilometers) from a coast. The population density and development within the first mile of a coastline is typically both the most densely populated and also the highest value in terms of real estate value (Figure 17.8). However, this desire from humans to live along coastlines also comes at a great price to long-term sustainability of natural resources associated with coastlines. In many regions, features such as mangrove forests and wetlands are disappearing as development progresses. The predicted problems associated with sea-level and climate change rise will progressively cause catastrophic impacts. In 2017, the United Nations released a report that natural disasters are the greatest threat to humanity, and most of those disasters are associated with superstorms impacting coastal regions.