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

Looking to Holland to find more sand for Galveston Island, Texas

For years, sand has been returned to eroded beaches and dunes on Galveston Island by bulldozers and backhoes at a cost of millions of dollars. Now, a new idea: let Mother Nature do the work.

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Sand scarcity hits Mumbai’s first artificial beach project

The plan for Mumbai’s first artificial beach off Marine Drive faces a challenge due to huge shortage of sand.

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Marine life dwindles after beach renourishment at Folly Beach, SC

In what’s considered the first study of its kind in South Carolina, a state scientific report says two beach renourishment projects had a long-lasting effect on bugs, small shellfish and worms that lived in areas where offshore-sand mining occurred at Folly Beach.

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Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts

“The federal government should rethink the wisdom of spending money to renourish beaches as sea levels rise and coastal property in the Carolinas and other places becomes increasingly vulnerable,” said Rob Young, a coastal geologist who heads the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at WCU.

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Despite millions spent on sand, Presque Isle in danger of splitting in two

The Lake Erie peninsula is in danger of breaking in two, despite millions of taxpayer dollars spent trying to preserve it.

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Bill Marks Shoals as Sources for Beach Sand, NC

Senate leaders hit the brakes last week on a fast-moving set of amendments to state environmental laws with several coastal-related provisions, including one that would for the first time target North Carolina’s three great capes as a sources of sand for beach re-nourishment.

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Shifting sand differs on developed, undeveloped beaches; Georgia

Natural and undeveloped beaches should not be armored or modified with “nourishment,” as the sand-sharing system moves deposits from dune to beach in storms and back again. Normally following storms, beach sands are gradually returned to reform dunes.

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Study to deter Maui beach erosion finds offshore sand

300,000 cubic yards of sand have been discovered off Kahana Bay in April, and this offshore sand is intended to be dredged to re-nourish eroding beaches in west Maui.

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Danger in the sand: Miami beach votes to secure control over sand

The City of Miami Beach voted to secure some control over the donation of sand to its beaches- which are owned by the state of Florida.

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Recent / Beach Nourishment

Marine life dwindles after beach renourishment at Folly Beach, SC

August 20th, 2016

In what’s considered the first study of its kind in South Carolina, a state scientific report says two beach renourishment projects had a long-lasting effect on bugs, small shellfish and worms that lived in areas where offshore-sand mining occurred at Folly Beach.

Read More

Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts

August 17th, 2016

“The federal government should rethink the wisdom of spending money to renourish beaches as sea levels rise and coastal property in the Carolinas and other places becomes increasingly vulnerable,” said Rob Young, a coastal geologist who heads the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at WCU.

Read More

Despite millions spent on sand, Presque Isle in danger of splitting in two

July 18th, 2016

The Lake Erie peninsula is in danger of breaking in two, despite millions of taxpayer dollars spent trying to preserve it.

Read More

Bill Marks Shoals as Sources for Beach Sand, NC

June 27th, 2016

Senate leaders hit the brakes last week on a fast-moving set of amendments to state environmental laws with several coastal-related provisions, including one that would for the first time target North Carolina’s three great capes as a sources of sand for beach re-nourishment.

Read More

Shifting sand differs on developed, undeveloped beaches; Georgia

June 14th, 2016

Natural and undeveloped beaches should not be armored or modified with “nourishment,” as the sand-sharing system moves deposits from dune to beach in storms and back again. Normally following storms, beach sands are gradually returned to reform dunes.

Read More

Study to deter Maui beach erosion finds offshore sand

June 6th, 2016

300,000 cubic yards of sand have been discovered off Kahana Bay in April, and this offshore sand is intended to be dredged to re-nourish eroding beaches in west Maui.

Read More

Danger in the sand: Miami beach votes to secure control over sand

May 12th, 2016

The City of Miami Beach voted to secure some control over the donation of sand to its beaches- which are owned by the state of Florida.

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Where’s all the sand in La Jolla? CA

May 6th, 2016

La Jolla beaches in Southern California, present an erosion level that has surprised residents and visitors this spring.

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Green group questions beach renourishment costs, environmental effects

April 11th, 2016

A local environmental group is questioning the need to spend millions of taxpayer dollars for beach renourishment work.

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Study: Sand nourishment linked to fewer marine life

April 4th, 2016

UC San Diego biologists who examined the biological impact of replenishing eroded beaches with offshore sand found that such beach replenishment efforts could have long-term negative impacts on coastal ecosystems.

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Related Resources

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