Public shaming campaigns aim to protect the Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore residents with oceanfront homes are facing a heated dilemma: They can either sign easements allowing the federal government to build protective sand dunes in front of their homes, or face public shaming at the hands of their neighbors. Their names are posted on websites, dog poop is left in their mailboxes and on their porches and they're receiving threatening phone calls. They've even been blacklisted from patronizing local businesses.
Mostly, the people who've refused to sign on to the plan don't want to give up their ocean views, The New York Times reports. It would seem a small sacrifice to make for the public good -- not to mention their own safety. Some, though, say what's really at stake is their right to private property.
Without dunes, experts say it's "only a matter of time" before the next superstorm wipes out seaside communities. The holdouts have lost the support of Governor Chris Christie, who said he has "no sympathy" for their concerns, and of the state's highest court, which ruled that towns can just take the land that's needed by eminent domain.