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 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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What Happens When You Bring Sand to the Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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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Recent / Beach Nourishment

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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The Fickleness of Sand

March 14th, 2014

Beach sand is a fickle thing. It gets pushed around by winds and waves, and you can never tell with any certainty where it will end up, despite the best engineering and intentions.

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Computer Model to Help Managers with Renourishment Decisions?

March 3rd, 2014

Since the first project of its kind in the U.S. at Coney Island, N.Y., in 1922, coastal managers have used beach nourishment – essentially importing sand to replace sediment lost through storms or erosion – to restore damaged beaches, but it is laborious and expensive.

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Dredging Plan Ignites New Sand Skirmish

January 15th, 2014

The latest skirmish in the ongoing Sand Wars is being waged on unfamiliar terrain and pits a new opponent against an unusual alliance of adversaries.

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Coastal Erosion Sparks ‘Sand Wars’ In New England

December 17th, 2013

It’s the time of year our neighbors who live near the ocean fear the most. It’s the winter when storms pound our coast and steal tons of sand from our beaches. And the bigger problem is that available beach sand is becoming hard to find.

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Sand Moved To Cover Waikiki Beach Erosion Swept Away, Video

November 25th, 2013

Just a day after crews tackled an erosion problem at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki, half of the sand they brought in was washed away, according to city officials.

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Gilgo Beach Dune Erosion Filled With Sand

October 15th, 2013

Construction workers using heavy machinery filled a football-field sized hole the Atlantic Ocean eroded from a recently built man-made dune in Gilgo Beach over the weekend, threatening Ocean Parkway.

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Sand Shortage Leaves South Florida Beaches Vulnerable to Erosion

August 19th, 2013

Some of South Florida’s most popular beaches will be particularly vulnerable to erosion and major damage if the state experiences a series of hurricanes, as it did in 2004 and 2005, because officials have run out of an important material: sand.

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Related Resources

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