Anne Linhoss, Navy times, Oct. 11, 2018
When storms like Hurricane Michael make landfall, the first things they hit often are barrier islands — thin ribbons of sand that line the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It’s hard to imagine how these narrow strips can withstand such forces, but in fact, many of them have buffered our shores for centuries.
Barrier islands protect about 10 percent of coastlines worldwide. When hurricanes and storms make landfall, these strands absorb much of their force, reducing wave energy and protecting inland areas.