November/December 2014 (Volume 29, Issue 6)
Reviewer rating: 3.0/4
Filmmaker Ben Kalina explores the continuing debate over the government’s stance regarding erosion of coastal regions that are also popular residential sites. The problem is brought home by extensive footage of areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, but the focus here is on two places that were immediately affected by the controversy over governmental response: Long Beach Island, off the coast of Ocean County, NJ, and the outer banks of North Carolina. In the first instance, the filmmakers question the wisdom of the beach replenishment program of the Army Corps of Engineers, which draws on generous amounts of general tax revenue to protect and rebuild the summer homes of the affluent. In the second, they cast a somewhat ridiculing eye at the decision by state legislators to set aside the findings of scientific researchers regarding the probability of future deterioration—an action in response to arguments from a business-oriented group that those alarmist predictions would have harmful economic ramifications. Shored Up features an impressive array of interviewees on all sides of the issue, but clearly represents the view that this problem—exacerbated by climate change—will only worsen, and that serious fact-based discussion should become an urgent priority among decision-makers and the general public.
DVD extras include interviews with Kalina and editor Marc D’Agostino, as well as bonus scenes.