Beach Nourishment

Sediment being pumped onto Figure Eight Island, North Carolina. View Beach Nourishment Gallery

If we must nourish beaches, we should use the least damaging source areas for sand and regulations/laws to that effect are needed. In addition, there is a global sand quality problem – poor quality (gravelly, muddy, shelly sand) is being pumped up on beaches (North Carolina, USA, and southern Spain). Recognition of the biological impact of placing sand on a beach is a particularly great need as beach nourishment temporarily destroys the entire nearshore marine ecosystem affecting birds, nearshore fish, and invertebrates. Source areas for sand are sometimes problematic as was the case in 2007. The US Army Corps of Engineers used off-shore sand from a former dump site from WW II resulting in the deposition of sand on a New Jersey beach along with 700 live rounds of munitions. Fortunately, no one was injured, but vacationers digging in the sand found the munitions. Dubai poses different challenges – fine sediment from the dredging operations there has done permanent damage to the coral reefs and ecosystem. Active coral reefs were buried when artificial islands were created after 2000.


Surfing in / Beach Nourishment

A look at the billions of dollars behind beach renourishment: Is it worth it?

More than $433 million has been spent on renourishing South Carolina beaches between 1954 and 2015.

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“A Never-Ending Commitment”: The High Cost of Preserving Vulnerable Beaches

In the wake of hurricanes like Florence, the U.S. government pays to dump truckloads of sand onto eroding beaches, in a cycle that is said to harm ecosystems and disproportionately benefit the rich.

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Beach rebuilding efforts won’t stave off climate change impacts forever

Supplemental sand may have saved a North Carolina beach from Hurricane Florence, but some say the projects aren’t worth it.

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Is pumping more sand onto NC beaches causing deadly currents?

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.

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Evaluating the Impact of Beach Nourishment on Surfing: Surf City, Long Beach Island, New Jersey, U.S.A.

In this study, the effect of the construction of a conventional beach nourishment project in Surf City, New Jersey, on the quality of the local surf break is examined in detail.

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Florida has spent more than $100 million pouring more sand onto beaches in the past three years. Is it time to wave a white flag?

In South Florida’s war against the tides, it may be time to recognize that discretion is the better part of valor. For the past 70 years, the state of Florida has spent more than $1.3 billion on packing sand onto eroding beaches.

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A wider, deeper beach awaits Ocean City vacationers, but is it safe?

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.

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Widening beaches might bring more hazards, researchers say

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.

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Can Adding Sand to Beaches Save Them?

The question is, can beach nourishment keep up with the ever-increasing forces of climate change or, like Sisyphus forever pushing his boulder up the hill, is adding sand to beaches an expensive, temporary fix to a long-term problem?

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Recent / Beach Nourishment

A look at the billions of dollars behind beach renourishment: Is it worth it?

October 16th, 2018

More than $433 million has been spent on renourishing South Carolina beaches between 1954 and 2015.

Read More

“A Never-Ending Commitment”: The High Cost of Preserving Vulnerable Beaches

September 27th, 2018

In the wake of hurricanes like Florence, the U.S. government pays to dump truckloads of sand onto eroding beaches, in a cycle that is said to harm ecosystems and disproportionately benefit the rich.

Read More

Beach rebuilding efforts won’t stave off climate change impacts forever

September 22nd, 2018

Supplemental sand may have saved a North Carolina beach from Hurricane Florence, but some say the projects aren’t worth it.

Read More

Is pumping more sand onto NC beaches causing deadly currents?

September 3rd, 2018

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.

Read More

Evaluating the Impact of Beach Nourishment on Surfing: Surf City, Long Beach Island, New Jersey, U.S.A.

July 23rd, 2018

In this study, the effect of the construction of a conventional beach nourishment project in Surf City, New Jersey, on the quality of the local surf break is examined in detail.

Read More

Florida has spent more than $100 million pouring more sand onto beaches in the past three years. Is it time to wave a white flag?

June 9th, 2018

In South Florida’s war against the tides, it may be time to recognize that discretion is the better part of valor. For the past 70 years, the state of Florida has spent more than $1.3 billion on packing sand onto eroding beaches.

Read More

A wider, deeper beach awaits Ocean City vacationers, but is it safe?

June 2nd, 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.

Read More

Widening beaches might bring more hazards, researchers say

May 5th, 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.

Read More

Can Adding Sand to Beaches Save Them?

April 13th, 2018

The question is, can beach nourishment keep up with the ever-increasing forces of climate change or, like Sisyphus forever pushing his boulder up the hill, is adding sand to beaches an expensive, temporary fix to a long-term problem?

Read More

Though wealthy, Jupiter Island gets $8.6M for beach repair from FEMA

April 11th, 2018

Jupiter Island, a well-heeled seaside enclave where home values average $4.97 million, was awarded $8.6 million in federal emergency money for beach re-nourishment following a beating by 2016’s Hurricane Matthew. FEMA has obligated more than $233 million for Florida beach projects under the program.

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Related Resources

Coastal Care junior
The World's Beaches
Sand Mining
One Percent