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

Beach Renourishment Harms Ecosystem

Pumping sand onto the coastline helps maintain wide beaches for tourism and property protection, but some scientists say it also damages a fragile and often overlooked ecosystem for fish and birds.

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Beach Erosion Causes 18-Foot Cliffs In Atlantic City

Atlantic City, New Jersey, is blocking access to a half-mile stretch of beachfront after erosion created cliffs as high as 18 feet. It will be at least four months until the beaches will be open to the public again.

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Cannes’ Latest Beach Replenishment Project

The City of Cannes has filed an application with the State services for replenishment services to a number of beaches by recharge of dredged sand on the beach by marine delivery to the affected areas of the south and other coastal beaches. The value of this project is 4,347,826 EUR…

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Okaloosa County Abolishes Beach Renourishment

After more than four years of debate, fears of dark, shell-heavy sand being dumped on Okaloosa Island’s white beaches have been put to rest as Okaloosa County commissioners abolished the beach renourishment project.

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To Save a Beach, They May Ruin It

Florida led the nation in establishing detailed criteria for ensuring that only high-quality sand is placed on Florida beaches during construction of beach nourishment projects.

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Hawaii to Add Sand to Chronically Eroding Waikiki Beach

A $2.3 million state project to widen a chronically eroding section of Waikiki beach with sand pumped in from offshore, will begin by the end of this month. Waikiki naturally has a narrow beach, and people have been adding sand to the shoreline to make it wider. The earliest beach replenishment projects are believed to date to the 1920s. The first well-documented case was in 1939…

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Sri Lanka Battles Sea Erosion

In the past, to shore up defences against sea erosion, Sri Lanka has used hard structures including rock, which disfigures beach areas and could also shift erosion to adjacent areas, by redirecting energy…

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Dutch Unveil Plan In War Against The Sea: A Sandbar

In its age-old war to keep back the sea, low-lying Netherlands has dumped sand onto a surface larger than 200 football fields just off the coast, and will wait for nature to do the rest…

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1895: The First Article On Beach Nourishment

In a retrieved article dated 1895 ” Sea and Land, Features of coasts and oceans with special reference to the life of Man,” geologist NS Shaler, describes the transport of clasts by seaweed, makes footnote of sea wall and beach nourishment… most possibly a first.

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Recent / Beach Nourishment

Nags Heads Shoreline Losses A Lot Of Sand, And Money

September 8th, 2011

Just weeks before the expected completion of a $36 million beach nourishment project, Hurricane Irene may have chewed away as much as 25 percent of the new sand pumped onto the Nags Head shoreline.

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Florida Truncates Eco-Safeguards On Beach Projects

June 6th, 2011

Florida has suspended key protections to reduce or prevent environmental harm and public health risks in rebuilding eroded beaches with dredged materials, according to agency documents posted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a membership organization of employees in natural resources agencies.

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Nags Head beach nourishment approved

April 11th, 2011

With the blessing of a state oversight commission secured last week, the project to nourish Nags Head’s eroded beaches will officially get under way as early as mid-June. The total cost of the project is between $36 million and $37 million

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Beach Renourishment Projects in Doubt

March 28th, 2011

On a narrow stretch of Sand Key, Fl., the beach has eroded from months of rushing waves. Tides eat away at the coast, sweeping sand back into the gulf. Unstopped by the shore, water rolls to the seawall, 20 feet from condominiums. Bordered by 825 miles of sandy shoreline, Florida tops the nation in federally funded beach renourishment.

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Topsail Beach Must Sift Shells From New Beach Sand

March 16th, 2011

Shell fragments pumped onto Topsail Beach’s shoreline during the town’s ongoing beach nourishment project are going to have to be removed, an unanticipated project that could cost the town thousands.

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Dredging in South Padre Island, Texas, Leaves Pile of Clay Behind

March 15th, 2011

When you first arrive at Isla Blanca Beach Park, some might think they are looking at some messy construction going on.

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$21 million Beach Replenishment Plan Moves Forward, Carlsbad Beach, CA

February 8th, 2011

The replenishment project is in its second phase. The first was completed in 2001 and placed nearly 2.1 million cubic yards of sand on county beaches.

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Are there any natural beaches remaining in the United States?


January 19th, 2011

Abstract, by Robert Young, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina, United States.

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Sydney’s Beach protection attempt may carry price tag of $700m

December 20th, 2010

Preserving Sydney’s beaches against rising sea levels could cost more than $700 million over the next 50 years and would require the government to reverse its long-standing position regarding offshore sand mining.

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Land Reclamation at Rotterdam, Netherlands

December 7th, 2010

The Port of Rotterdam is already Europe’s biggest port, but the Maasvlakte 2 Land Reclamation Project will triple its container capacity in one bold stroke. Stretching 3 miles beyond the former coastline, Maasvlakte 2 will be as large as Midtown and Downtown Manhattan combined.

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Related Resources

Coastal Care junior
The World's Beaches
Sand Mining
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