Is pumping more sand onto NC beaches causing deadly currents?

Posted In Beach Nourishment, Inform
Sep
3


Beach nourishment. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A growing number of scientists and coastal engineers worry that there’s a serious downside to beach nourishment: Unnaturally altered beaches could pose an elevated risk of injury to the very tourists that sand replenishment was meant to attract.

Orrin Pilkey, perhaps North Carolina’s most famed beach expert, agrees that investigating the possible link between beach nourishment and rip currents is “a heck of a good idea.”

“It’s not just a rumor that nourished beaches may cause drowning,” said Pilkey, professor emeritus of geology at Duke University, founder of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University and a prolific author. His books include “The Corps and the Shore,” a 1989 review of the science, engineering and politics of beach nourishment.

Pilkey thinks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should pay for research on whether nourishment boosts public safety hazards. “They fund the majority of beach nourishment,” he said. “They should know about this…”

Read Full Article; The News & Observer (08-30-2018)

A wider, deeper beach awaits Ocean City vacationers, but is it safe? The Washington Post (06-01-2018)
Ocean City vacationers may notice deeper, wider beaches, the result of a $282 million sand-dredging project aimed at protecting the resort town from storm damage. But the work also raises concerns about surf injuries and swimmer safety…

Widening beaches might bring more hazards, researchers say; Sun Sentinel (04-04-2018)
Widening beaches might be linked to an increase in accidents, according to new data. The number of ocean rescues spikes after beaches are buffed up, according to the data published in the Journal of Ocean Research…

Why This Treacherous Hawaiian Beach, Keeps Breaking People’s Necks, The Washington Post (10-27-2015)
Adding new sand didn’t merely widen the beaches, they found — it made them higher, “resulting in steep slopes that can cause large waves to break close to shore. In other words, replenishment was doing to Delaware’s beaches what nature long ago did to Hawaii’s Sandy Beach…

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

Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts; By Robert S. Young, PhD; The State (08-17-2016)
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…

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

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…

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