Coastlines are ever evolving, buffeted by the wind and waves, and drifting with the currents. Often, the evolution is gradual, seemingly imperceptible. However, occasionally, the evolution is accelerated by the onset of storms, which can eliminate islands, carve inlets into barrier beaches and completely flood low lying areas. In the New Jersey, there are records of this changing landscape and of humanity’s attempts to resist it—lured by the sea and clinging to real property notions of indefinite terra firma—a misplaced assumption on the coast. We have selected three case study towns in Monmouth County New Jersey to illustrate this story and to project what the future holds in the face of climate change and its primary coastal effects: Sea level rise and increased storm severity.