The fray between North Wildwood, N.J., and state regulators over how to combat erosion offers a glimpse into the sort of conflicts likely to unfold more often in the age of climate change.

This N.J. Town Erected Barriers to Hold Back the Sea. A Public Fight Erupted.

NORTH WILDWOOD, N.J. — From atop the local lifeguard headquarters, Mayor Patrick Rosenello looks out over the shrinking shoreline of his hometown.

To the north, past the kaleidoscope of umbrellas that dot the beach, he can see the massive bulkheads the city has installed to hold back the encroaching sea — the same ones at the heart of an ongoing fight with the state, which has sued North Wildwood and fined it more than $8.5 million for that and other work it says was unauthorized, misguided and destructive.

Rosenello can also glimpse the signs he posted along beach entrances this summer, bearing photos of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and the state’s top environmental officer, calling them “directly responsible” for failing to fix the erosion problems here.

“I try not to pour fuel on the fire,” says the man who has poured a considerable amount of fuel on this fire in recent months.

But he isn’t apologizing.

Learn more about Dr. Siders and her research in this feature from this Washington Post.