The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a major tourist attraction on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore which is subject to severe oceanfront erosion. Protection methods, including renourishment, groins, and sandbags, have not had much of a lasting impact. Erosion continues to threaten the lighthouse structure. Today, the ocean is about 120 feet from the base of the lighthouse. The United States government has funded an initiative to relocate the lighthouse 2900 feet away from its current position.
Should the lighthouse should be saved? Is it worth spending millions of dollars to move the lighthouse away from the coastline?
In this exploration, your objective is to investigate the issues concerning the relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. As you engage in your exploration, identify the social, political, and scientific issues with which different stakeholders must deal.
Use the following questions as a guide as you explore the Web-based resources:
Which individuals, interest groups or organizations are in favor of relocating the lighthouse?
Which individuals, interest groups, or organizations are against relocating the lighthouse?
What are some arguments in favor of relocating the lighthouse?
What are some arguments against relocating the lighthouse?
How would you respond to these arguments?
What environmental concerns were identified regarding the relocation the lighthouse?
What economic concerns were identified regarding the issue?
What are the short-term costs and benefits of relocating the lighthouse?
What are the long-term costs and benefits of relocating the lighthouse?
What other options are available to save the lighthouse?
What is your recommendation?
Here are the Web-based resources to use to identify and investigate the issues:
©1999, Alec M. Bodzin for the Science Junction, NC State University. All rights reserved.
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