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

Green group questions beach renourishment costs, environmental effects

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

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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Hawaii bill to restore Waikiki Beach

Despite being one of Hawaii’s most iconic beaches, many visitors don’t know Waikiki Beach is actually an engineered beach that has been filled with imported sand. Waikiki has been facing erosion problems for years, and Hawaii lawmakers are pushing a bill to restore it…again. The state estimates that approximately 300,000 cubic yards of sand have been imported to Waikiki beaches over the past 75 years, often mined from other beaches in the state.

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Is there enough sand to go around?

The sand we spread our towels on in visits to the Delaware beach towns was once at the bottom of the sea, before engineers pumped it onto the shoreline in a wave of beach replenishment projects.

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Fairhope continues to fight beach erosion, AL

After a major beach replenishment effort in 2014, the city of Fairhope continues to fight erosion problems. The beach near the Pier Street boat ramp is losing about 10 percent of its sand each year. For the second year in a row, tons of sand have been lost at the public beach south of Pier Street. It’s an ongoing battle with Mother Nature.

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Coastal erosion needs our attention

65 acres of Massachusetts coastline is carried away every year by raging storms and rising seas. That’s not a problem unless we build a house on the beach. Today, 40 percent of the commonwealth’s 1,500-mile shoreline is residentially occupied.

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Beach work: The billion-dollar question for New Jersey

Restoring eroded beaches was a billion-dollar problem in New Jersey even before Sandy. Towns have added sand to beaches for generations, yet sand drifts. So if a town manages to keep a beach in place on one block, chances are the beach on another block will erode twice as quickly.

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Piling sand to stop erosion ultimately made the land sink, study says

A new study underscores the unique difficulties Louisiana faces in maintaining its fragile delta and keeping the sea at bay: Researchers found work to replenish an eroding shoreline by pumping onto it massive amounts of sand itself caused the land to sink.

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Save beach from renourishment

If we really value our beach and what it means to our economy, we should do more to protect it. With so-called beach renourishment (pumping offshore sand onto beach for protection) and the current Coastal Construction Line (development setback line), we are just toying with protection.

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Recent / Beach Nourishment

Is there enough sand to go around?

February 1st, 2016

The sand we spread our towels on in visits to the Delaware beach towns was once at the bottom of the sea, before engineers pumped it onto the shoreline in a wave of beach replenishment projects.

Read More

Fairhope continues to fight beach erosion, AL

January 15th, 2016

After a major beach replenishment effort in 2014, the city of Fairhope continues to fight erosion problems. The beach near the Pier Street boat ramp is losing about 10 percent of its sand each year. For the second year in a row, tons of sand have been lost at the public beach south of Pier Street. It’s an ongoing battle with Mother Nature.

Read More

Coastal erosion needs our attention

January 4th, 2016

65 acres of Massachusetts coastline is carried away every year by raging storms and rising seas. That’s not a problem unless we build a house on the beach. Today, 40 percent of the commonwealth’s 1,500-mile shoreline is residentially occupied.

Read More

Beach work: The billion-dollar question for New Jersey

December 26th, 2015

Restoring eroded beaches was a billion-dollar problem in New Jersey even before Sandy. Towns have added sand to beaches for generations, yet sand drifts. So if a town manages to keep a beach in place on one block, chances are the beach on another block will erode twice as quickly.

Read More

Piling sand to stop erosion ultimately made the land sink, study says

December 26th, 2015

A new study underscores the unique difficulties Louisiana faces in maintaining its fragile delta and keeping the sea at bay: Researchers found work to replenish an eroding shoreline by pumping onto it massive amounts of sand itself caused the land to sink.

Read More

Save beach from renourishment

December 12th, 2015

If we really value our beach and what it means to our economy, we should do more to protect it. With so-called beach renourishment (pumping offshore sand onto beach for protection) and the current Coastal Construction Line (development setback line), we are just toying with protection.

Read More

Economy Winner, Environment Loser in Renourishment

December 2nd, 2015

“One thing that locks you into renourishment is to continue beach construction and development as usual,” Young says as he stares at the five yellow CAT machines “The long-range or long-term solution is to have greater setbacks and to allow the beach to renourish itself naturally.”

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Could We Run Out of Sand for Eroded Beaches?

October 30th, 2015

With king tides, persistent winds and large waves from Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Joaquin making erosion particularly bad this year, the demand for sand is high – but is it possible we could run out?

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Why This Treacherous Hawaiian Beach, Keeps Breaking People’s Necks

October 27th, 2015

Even for an experienced surfer, it’s easy to make mistakes at Sandy Beach, notorious for its shallow shore break. These beaches are deceptive, sometimes lethally.

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Residents to Pay for Sand Replenishment at Malibu Beach, CA

October 26th, 2015

Residents of Malibu’s Broad Beach have agreed to pay $31 million over the next decade to truck in tons of sand to build up the diminished shoreline filled with homes of the rich and famous.

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Related Resources

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