Shored Up, directed by Ben Kalina, is the first feature-length film about rising sea levels in the US and won the Sundance Award for best documentary in 2013. It asks tough questions about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land, utilizing footage captured in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, specifically in New Jersey and North Carolina. What will a rising sea do to our homes, our businesses, and the survival of our communities? Can we afford to pile enough sand on our shores to keep the ocean at bay?
In Long Beach Island, New Jersey and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, surfers, politicians, scientists and residents are struggling with these issues. Beach engineering has been our only approach so far, but is there something else out there to be explored? Our development of the coastlines put us in a tough predicament, and it’s time to start looking for solutions.
"I thought of the barrier islands: a pile of sand in the ocean that we're trying to hold in place," said Kalina. “This film deals with adaptation to climate change as opposed to how do we stop climate change. It lends itself to people talking about things that are local and regional," he said; “places where people can actually create change – in local land use decisions, development policies and environmental regulations."