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

How Hurricane Irma blew away the beach in Miami Beach

Hurricane Irma smacked Miami Beach’s shoreline with enough wind and rain to reshape some of the water’s edge, including washing away chunks of sand from a recently completed $11.5 million beach widening project.

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A variety of maritime activities contribute to sea turtle deaths

Ask what water-based activity interacts the most with threatened and endangered sea turtles and many will reply without hesitation: commercial fishing. But state records show that to be incorrect.

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Sand Project: More Turtles Than Expected

Federal agencies are re-evaluating sea turtle activities off part of the Outer Banks after large numbers of the marine animals have had to be moved out of the way of an ongoing beach re-nourishment project.

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Big beaches are back in Oceanside, CA

Workers have finished their two-month dredging of the Oceanside harbor, leaving a fresh coat of sand on beaches as the summer tourist season gets under way.

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Rewilding Santa Monica’s thoroughly artificial beach

In the early 1900s, L.A. County beaches were not yet the tourist destination they would one day become. To draw more tourists, local municipalities wanted the beaches of the Santa Monica Bay to mimic those on the nation’s opposite coast: bigger, flatter, wider. Beach managers decided then, to bend the area’s geology, making Southern California beaches take on a more Floridian aesthetic. It was built by moving sand from one place and dumping it into another, turning the tourist-friendly beach into an ecological wasteland.

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County warns businesses to stop mining sand, Maui

While sand mining is not illegal here, some community members are concerned about the resource being depleted and shipped off-island and archaeological damage. Mayor Alan Arakawa is among the concerned, saying the sand is needed for Maui projects and replenishing beaches.

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Battling erosion an endless job for South Carolina beach towns

In South Carolina, beach renourishment is a never-ending job…

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Plan Streamlines Re-Nourishment Permitting; North Carolina

A program designed to cut more than three months from the review process for certain beach re-nourishment projects will soon be unveiled.

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Kailua Beach sand project gets underway, triggers stream pollution fears

Longtime residents believe that the water quality in Kailua bay has degraded.

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Recent / Beach Nourishment

How Hurricane Irma blew away the beach in Miami Beach

September 21st, 2017

Hurricane Irma smacked Miami Beach’s shoreline with enough wind and rain to reshape some of the water’s edge, including washing away chunks of sand from a recently completed $11.5 million beach widening project.

Read More

A variety of maritime activities contribute to sea turtle deaths

August 22nd, 2017

Ask what water-based activity interacts the most with threatened and endangered sea turtles and many will reply without hesitation: commercial fishing. But state records show that to be incorrect.

Read More

Sand Project: More Turtles Than Expected

August 3rd, 2017

Federal agencies are re-evaluating sea turtle activities off part of the Outer Banks after large numbers of the marine animals have had to be moved out of the way of an ongoing beach re-nourishment project.

Read More

Big beaches are back in Oceanside, CA

June 17th, 2017

Workers have finished their two-month dredging of the Oceanside harbor, leaving a fresh coat of sand on beaches as the summer tourist season gets under way.

Read More

Rewilding Santa Monica’s thoroughly artificial beach

May 11th, 2017

In the early 1900s, L.A. County beaches were not yet the tourist destination they would one day become. To draw more tourists, local municipalities wanted the beaches of the Santa Monica Bay to mimic those on the nation’s opposite coast: bigger, flatter, wider. Beach managers decided then, to bend the area’s geology, making Southern California beaches take on a more Floridian aesthetic. It was built by moving sand from one place and dumping it into another, turning the tourist-friendly beach into an ecological wasteland.

Read More

County warns businesses to stop mining sand, Maui

May 3rd, 2017

While sand mining is not illegal here, some community members are concerned about the resource being depleted and shipped off-island and archaeological damage. Mayor Alan Arakawa is among the concerned, saying the sand is needed for Maui projects and replenishing beaches.

Read More

Battling erosion an endless job for South Carolina beach towns

April 30th, 2017

In South Carolina, beach renourishment is a never-ending job…

Read More

Plan Streamlines Re-Nourishment Permitting; North Carolina

April 7th, 2017

A program designed to cut more than three months from the review process for certain beach re-nourishment projects will soon be unveiled.

Read More

Kailua Beach sand project gets underway, triggers stream pollution fears

April 5th, 2017

Longtime residents believe that the water quality in Kailua bay has degraded.

Read More

A swath of Miami Beach was washing away. The fix? Dump 285,000 tons of sand on it

March 30th, 2017

To widen a 3,000-foot stretch of Miami Beach’s shore that was washing away, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dumped 285,412 tons of sand on Mid-Beach, a $11.5 million project, funded with a combination of federal, state and county dollars.

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Related Resources

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