Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski


  • Michael S. FensterEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_283-2

Coastal management strategies reduce the risks associated with coastal hazards and protect coastal infrastructure, habitat, water quality, recreation values, and aesthetic properties. A setback is one type of regulatory method used by all levels of government to mitigate risks to coastal structures and to protect coastal resources. For example, following Hurricane Luis in 1995, three island territories in the eastern Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Nevis, and St. Lucia) developed a shoreline (defined here as the high water line) management strategy involving the establishment of setbacks (Cambers 1997).

What Is a Setback?

Taken literally, setbacks are a type of regulatory restriction that require coastal construction projects to “set back” a landward distance from a predetermined reference feature on the beach. This arrangement provides a buffer between a hazard area or natural area and coastal development. Setback lines often parallel (but are situated some distance inland from) a...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Studies ProgramRandolph-Macon CollegeAshlandUSA