After being devastated by Hurricane Sandy, the townspeople of Sea Bright, a relatively affluent barrier island along the Jersey shore, must cope with unsettling sea level rise projections. Featured scientists project that the entire town may be underwater within the next 50 years.
The film asks a deceivingly simple question: should they stay or should they go? The threat of climate change has turned this into a complex moral, and economic decision.
New Jersey has undertaken beach nourishment projects to protect the shore. These projects sustain the eroding shoreline by pumping sand onto the beaches. These costly projects have varying success rates, and generally last 10-15 years.
Other projects include raising shore houses, building sea walls, and planting dunes along the beach. These are largely considered stop-gap solutions.
Interviews with scientists, politicians, the Army Corps of Engineers, and New Jersey shore residents put the decision to protect the shoreline into question. Scientists and environmentalists believe that living there is simply too dangerous.
Shore residents love their homes. It’s simply a beautiful place. However, their lifestyle choice has put these average citizens into a scientific, political debate that they never expected to be a part of. Their stories allow the viewer to put themselves in the resident’s shoes. What would you do if your house could be washed away in an instant?