Money and sand: will there be enough for New Jersey’s beaches?

dredging-ry
Palm Beach Mid-Town dredge project, Florida, 1-25-2015. Image source: Youtube
“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.

Excerpts;

Beach replenishment is costly and exacts a heavy toll on the environment, depleting underwater ridges that are home to a broad variety of sea life…

Skeptics questioned how the state and Army Corps of Engineers can commit to spending nearly $2 billion in beach replenishment through the mid 21st century.

Read Full Article, NJ Spotlight (09-29-2016)

The Jersey Shore’s Unquenchable Thirst for Sand; Philly (03-09-2015)
New Jersey, with its 127-mile coastline, has spent about $800 million on beach replenishment over the last 30 years – more than any other state, including Florida, which has an 1,800-mile coastline. That is equivalent to 80 million cubic yards of sand – or about a dump truck load for every foot of beach…

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…

Marine life dwindles after beach renourishment at Folly Beach, SC, The State (08-20-2016)

Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts; The State (08-16-2016)

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…

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

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

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

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

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)

“Engineering away our natural defenses: An analysis of shoreline hardening in the US,” A Study by By Rachel K. Pittman, ResearchGate (08-08-2015)
Rapid coastal population growth and development are primary drivers of marine habitat degradation. Although shoreline hardening, a byproduct of development, can accelerate erosion and loss of beaches and tidal wetlands, it is a common practice globally. 22,842 km of continental U.S. shoreline, 14% of the total, has been hardened…

Coastal erosion needs our attention, South Coast Today (01-04-2016)

Living shorelines a more natural approach to preventing coastal erosion; (05-18-2016)
For centuries, large bulkheads have been used to help control erosion along coastlines. More recent research suggests that a natural approach may be a better alternative. Having nature on your side, especially during a storm or hurricane, is proven to provide better protection from coastal erosion…

Rethinking Living Shorelines, By Orrin H. Pilkey, Rob Young, Norma Longo, and Andy Coburn;Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines / Western Carolina University, March 1, 2012, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
In response to the detrimental environmental impacts caused by traditional erosion control structures, environmental groups, state and federal resource management agencies, now advocate an approach known as “Living Shorelines”that embraces the use of natural habitat elements such as indigenous vegetation, to stabilize and protect eroding shorelines.

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