Many densely populated coastal areas around the world are low lying and susceptible to relative sea level rise (SLR) associated with climate change, land level subsidence or tectonic subsidence. Coastal defense structures have been constructed as barriers to certain design storm surge, storm wave or tsunami heights. Typically even without SLR the design criteria change over time as hazards get reanalyzed or remodeled. The decrease in risk reduction due to relative SLR and the performance of existing defense barriers under loading conditions beyond the design need to be determined. Potential upgrades or adaptions of existing coastal defense barriers subject to SLR need to be proposed and evaluated.