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 Did Rocks End Up on the Beach? NC

State rules make it clear that sand from an ocean bottom riddled with rocks should not be pumped onto the state’s beaches during beach re-nourishment projects. Yet, a beach pumping project on the south end of this Onslow County town littered the beach with tons of rocks, some the size of basketballs. And no one stopped it.

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A 50-year Sand Replenishment Project, Encinitas and Solana Beaches, CA

For the price of the plan, the cities could have looked at buying bluff-top properties to allow for “managed retreat.” That way, the bluffs could naturally erode, putting sand back on the beaches.

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Palm Beach Sea Turtles Killed During Beach Renourishment Project

South Floridians have for years grappled with the issue of beach erosion. Condos continue to go up despite wave action that carries sand away. Residents want wide, sandy beaches — and so do turtles, who need it to nest.

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Sand Cents

The value of many oceanfront properties on the East Coast could drop dramatically if Congress were to suddenly end federal beach nourishment subsidies. Values could fall by as much as 17 percent in towns with high property values and almost 34 percent in towns with low property values.

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Dealing with Beach Erosion; Maintenance, Monitoring Program Eyed; AL

Since a $50,000 beach repair emergency project was completed last July, a large chunk of beach has eroded and the council will soon consider implementing a beach monitoring and maintenance program.

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The Jersey Shore’s Unquenchable Thirst for Sand

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.

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How the Surfing Business Could be a Wipeout for an Iconic Calif. Town

To create perfect surfing conditions, nature needs to provide the right amount of deep-ocean swells, peculiar ocean-floor geography and wind. Coupled with sea-level rise, as beaches erode, the practice of beach replenishment – dredging and dumping sand to extend beaches and reclaim them from the ocean – is also destroying surf in some communities.

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Is Beach Renourishment Worth The Money?

Surf, sand and sun are big draws for southeastern North Carolina. In fact, our beaches keep much of our economy afloat, but they take a lot of maintenance.

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Palm Beach Mid-Town Dredge Project, A Video

Aerial video of the Town of Palm Beach, Mid-Town dredge project; with comments courtesy of Robert S. Young, PhD, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Professor, Coastal Geology, Western Carolina University.

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Recent / Beach Nourishment

What Happens When You Bring Sand to the Beach

January 24th, 2015

A homeowners association, in San Diego County, California, claims that a $28.5 million sand-replenishment project has gone wrong. The 450,000 cubic yards of sand taken from offshore sites and placed on less than a mile of coastline created a flood hazard.

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Erosion Creates Dangerous Situation on Waikiki Beach

January 3rd, 2015

Over the past several months severe erosion has caused a concrete slab near the water’s edge at Kuhio Beach to become exposed. Beach erosion in Waikiki has been a problem for decades and has resulted in at least 10 sand replenishment projects since 1939. 300,000 cubic yards of sand has been placed onto Waikiki Beach over the past 77 years.

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Poole Beach Storm Damage Sand Pumping Works Begin

November 22nd, 2014

More than 40,000 cubic metres (1.4m cubic feet) of sand is being pumped on to a Dorset beach to protect nearby homes from storms.

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A Beach Project Built on Sand; By Robert S. Young, PhD

August 22nd, 2014

Earlier this month, 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.

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The Army Corps of Engineers Moves Forward With 50-Year Project

August 18th, 2014

After more than a decade of work and research, a project report that aims to keep Bogue Banks beaches nourished for the next five decades has been submitted for final comment. The estimated cost for the initial project construction and the reoccurring nourishment projects over the next 50 years is $266,783,000. Since 2001, the project cost the county $2,947,503.

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Beach Erosion Again Exposes Concrete at Kuhio Beach, Hawaii

July 29th, 2014

It was just last October that beach erosion exposed an area of concrete along Kuhio Beach. Nine months later, it has happened again.

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Endless Erosion Battle a Matter of Money

July 21st, 2014

Since the first federal beach renourishment project in 1969, 3 million cubic yards of sand have been pumped back onto the beach, and about $25 million in today’s dollars have been spent on Treasure Island, Florida, alone to fight a natural process that’s been happening for ages on barrier islands, researchers say.

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The Folly Of Poorly Executed Beach Renourishment

May 6th, 2014

“Folly’s beach $30 million dredging/renourishment project is a fiasco that eclipses the 2009 dredging of live artillery onto the beach during a project in Surf City, N.J…” By journalist Chris Dixon.

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Army Corps Beach Erosion Fix Would Cost $43.4M

April 16th, 2014

The Army Corps of Engineers said it will be expensive to fix beach erosion problems along Flagler County’s shoreline, Florida.

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Along Jersey Shore, Towns Build Sandcastle Dunes

April 11th, 2014

The hills of sand are supposed to act as fortresses that protect Jersey Shore communities from the ravages of the sea. But unless the sand can be stabilized by vegetation, one municipal engineer said, “They disappear like children’s sand castles at the end of the day.”

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Related Resources

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