It comes down to a property rights issue: Homeowners must cede part of their land to the government through easements, where the dunes will be built. Some homeowners want the government to compensate them for land; others just don't want to allow the government to control the property.
"If we did sign it, we give up our land," Long Beach Island, New Jersey, resident Dorothy Jedziniak told National Public Radio. "Assignment means that your local politicians could assign a walkway, toilets, whatever."
Bowman believes the cost is too high for residents living near the coast not to act.
"People who lived here are paying for it in terms of human misery," he said. "But if you talk about paying for it in terms of rebuilding and the dollars, where are the dollars going to come from? And are the people of the Midwest going want to pay for protecting these privileged few people who are lucky enough to live on the ocean's edge? I don't think so."