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

Sand re-nourishment could be culprit for beach-related accidents

A group of researchers found that after beach re-nourishment projects, there was a significant increase in the number of drownings and serious accidents along those same beaches.

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Nor’easter submerges newly replenished N.J. beaches

An ocean storm will continue to meander off the Middle Atlantic coast through Saturday, generating a strong onshore flow that will continue to lash New Jersey beaches. Lavallette and Seaside Heights are both recent recipients of Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment and engineered protective dune systems. While the beaches were underwater, water did not appear to impact the dunes.

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Your favorite pristine beach is founded on mass invertebrate death

Beach managers import sand and constantly groom shores with heavy machinery, and a recent study in the journal Ecological Indicators shows these managed beaches have much fewer sand-dwelling critters than nearby natural ones.

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South Florida beach town getting emergency sand infusion

Sand-starved Dania Beach is getting an emergency infusion of that gritty stuff that gets washed away every year. Sand by the truckload is being brought in and deposited on the northern half of the beach near the pier.

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Coastal Conservation Plan Sparks Fight Over Sand

Beach communities that rely on dredging to replenish protective dunes object to expanded federal protections. Environmental advocates are pushing back with warnings about the possible ecological damage from beach replenishment projects that they call sand mining.

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$18 million sand project to restore 3.5 miles of beach, Florida

Work began this week on the largest beach renourishment project in the Port Canaveral area of the five that have occurred since 1995. The $18 million, federally funded project will restore sand to 3.5 miles of beaches, stretching from Port Canaveral’s Jetty Park to south of Cocoa Beach Pier.

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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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Recent / Beach Nourishment

Sand re-nourishment could be culprit for beach-related accidents

November 18th, 2019

A group of researchers found that after beach re-nourishment projects, there was a significant increase in the number of drownings and serious accidents along those same beaches.

Read More

Nor’easter submerges newly replenished N.J. beaches

October 11th, 2019

An ocean storm will continue to meander off the Middle Atlantic coast through Saturday, generating a strong onshore flow that will continue to lash New Jersey beaches. Lavallette and Seaside Heights are both recent recipients of Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment and engineered protective dune systems. While the beaches were underwater, water did not appear to impact the dunes.

Read More

Your favorite pristine beach is founded on mass invertebrate death

August 7th, 2019

Beach managers import sand and constantly groom shores with heavy machinery, and a recent study in the journal Ecological Indicators shows these managed beaches have much fewer sand-dwelling critters than nearby natural ones.

Read More

South Florida beach town getting emergency sand infusion

April 24th, 2019

Sand-starved Dania Beach is getting an emergency infusion of that gritty stuff that gets washed away every year. Sand by the truckload is being brought in and deposited on the northern half of the beach near the pier.

Read More

Coastal Conservation Plan Sparks Fight Over Sand

March 26th, 2019

Beach communities that rely on dredging to replenish protective dunes object to expanded federal protections. Environmental advocates are pushing back with warnings about the possible ecological damage from beach replenishment projects that they call sand mining.

Read More

$18 million sand project to restore 3.5 miles of beach, Florida

December 6th, 2018

Work began this week on the largest beach renourishment project in the Port Canaveral area of the five that have occurred since 1995. The $18 million, federally funded project will restore sand to 3.5 miles of beaches, stretching from Port Canaveral’s Jetty Park to south of Cocoa Beach Pier.

Read More

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

Related Resources

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