The Approach to Barrier Islands
Barrier islands perform an important function in the mitigation of natural disasters. They can help downgrade the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes whose power decreases as they make landfall. However, the protection function also means that the cities located on barrier islands are bound to experience disasters in hurricanes. In light of this, it is not reasonable to rebuild these cities after devastation of hurricanes, but considering residents, local, state, regional and national government and private interests, the option of not rebuilding these cities are always neglected. So eclectically, the most vulnerable regions, such as seacoast areas, should not be rebuilt and should be changed to wetlands that have buffering effects. At the same times, seawalls and dikes are still needed for better protection.
For example, Galveston Island is a barrier island on the Texas Gulf Coast, about 50 miles southeast of Houston. Hurricanes are an ever-present threat during the summer and fall season.
Given much more serious sea rise and erosion issues on Galveston Island's west end, the west end of the Galveston should be left not rebuilt and try to be restore to the natural ecosystem like wetlands. Moreover, considering the population on the island, some constructions can still be introduced to the east end of the island but not too close to the seacoast. The rebuilt city should be under better protection.