|Ocean side, Majuro Atoll (Wikipedia)|
Ford, M. 2012. Shoreline changes on an urban atoll in the central Pacific Ocean: Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands. Journal of Coastal Research 28: 11-22.
What was learned
The University of Hawaii researcher reports that the rural lagoon shore of Majuro Atoll has been predominantly eroding, but that the ocean-facing shore has been largely accreting, and at a much faster rate. In addition, he finds that "shoreline change within the urban area of Majuro has been largely driven by widespread reclamation for a mix of residential, commercial and industrial activities." Thus, "despite a rising sea level," he finds that "the landmass of Majuro has persisted and, largely because of reclamation, increased in size."
What it means
Ford concludes by noting that as an atoll population increases, "further demands are placed on the limited land available," and he says that in the case of Majuro Atoll, "it is likely that land reclamation will continue to satisfy this demand," noting that "the notion that sea level rise is a singular driver of shoreline change along atolls is spurious," while stating that "adopting such a notion is an impediment to the sustainable management of coastal resources within urban atolls."
Inhabitants of Tuvalu (and other island states) ... take note!