The purpose of this paper is to identify the nature and magnitude of alterations to backbarrier environments on Island Beach Spit, NJ. This location was selected because it has different levels of human development on a short length of shoreline. Aerial photographs, at a scale of 1:9600, from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection were examined to identify changes in shoreline configuration and land use over a 30 year period, from 1952 to 1982. This provided an historical assessment of shoreline change from human modification. The focus is on the management implications that are specific to backbarrier beaches, but some information from the previous studies will be used to provide additional perspective.