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I can’t read The Florida Dream Is Over by Martin Edic without thinking about Swamp Castle in Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie.

After back-to-back hurricanes — one hitting the Gulf Coast and the other blasting Daytona Beach — the “rebuild stronger” refrain is Florida’s go-to response amid the devastation. No one questions the wisdom of rebuilding.

Barrier islands are called “barrier islands” because they create a barrier between the mainland and the ocean. They shelter and protect the mainland from the powerful forces of wind, waves, tides, currents and the ravages of storms and hurricanes.

The definition of a barrier island in Florida is a bit different, based not on storm surge or sustained winds, but on real estate value.



James Leftus

Scorched earth writer on the Florida Gulf Coast. Non-practicing Bokononist.