Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts

Posted In Beach Nourishment, Inform
Aug
17

waikiki-beach-renourishment
Waikiki beach-renourishement, 2012. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.
“Hawaii’s famed Waikiki Beach started to erode again, less than a year after the completion of a $2.2 million project to replenish the sand on about 1,730 feet of shoreline that had been suffering from chronic erosion.”Captions.
“Development is absolutely responsible for the majority of the beach nourishment,” Andrew Coburn, assistant director of The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, said. “Well over 99 percent of the shorelines that are nourished are developed so there is some economic value placed behind them.”

Excerpts,

The federal government should rethink the wisdom of spending money to renourish beaches as sea levels rise and coastal property in the Carolinas and other places becomes increasingly vulnerable, a coastal geologist critical of renourishment efforts said Tuesday.

Rob Young, who heads the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, said the government is subsidizing coastal development with renourishment money – and that’s costing taxpayers. Communities across the country have spent millions of dollars renourishing beaches. Those efforts encourage people to rebuild after every major hurricane, he said.

During a talk with journalists in Asheville, Young also said the federal government isn’t studying beach renourishment comprehensively enough to know what impact it is having on the environment…

Read Full Article, The State (08-16-2016)

Economy Winner, Environment Loser in Renourishment; Pensacola News Journal (12-02-2015)

Editorial: Beach Replenishment is No Cure-All, Asburry Park Press (05-14-2015)

Is Beach Renourishment Worth The Money? WWAY News (02-16-2015)

How Your Taxes Help Inflate The Value Of Coastal Properties Threatened By Climate Change; ThinkProgress (06-05-2015)

Waikiki Beach Eroding Less Than A Year After $2.2M Sand Restoration, Pacific Business News (01-24-2013)

A Beach Project Built on Sand; By Robert S. Young, PhD; The New York Times (08-22-2014)
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $207 million plan to dredge millions of tons of sand off the south shore of Long Island and spread it along the beaches and dunes. It is a colossal waste of money and another consequence of the nation’s failure to develop a coherent plan to address the risks from storms faced by states along the eastern seaboard and gulf coast…

Piling sand to stop erosion ultimately made the land sink, study says, NOLA (12-26-2015)

Beach replenishment may have far reaching impacts on ecosystems;” Phys.Org (03-29-2016)
UC San Diego biologists who examined the biological impact of replenishing eroded beaches with offshore sand found that such beach replenishment efforts could have long-term negative impacts on coastal ecosystems…

Palm Beach Mid-Town Dredge Project, A Youtube Video (02-04-2015)
“Beach nourishment projects like this have become commonplace along the US East and Gulf Coasts. These projects have immediate environmental impacts through burial of nearshore habitat and increased turbidity during project placement.The cumulative environmental impacts of doing this repeatedly on the same beach while conducting projects from Maine to Texas is unknown. But, we should be concerned. ” —Robert S. Young, PhD, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Professor, Coastal Geology, Western Carolina University

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