Category Archives: Beach Nourishment

Nags Head beach nourishment approved

Nags head, beach nourishment. Photo source: ©© Mark Brennan


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 town has announced…

Read Full Article, Dredging Today

South Nags Head, by Orrin Pilkey, Norma Longo and Joseph T. Kelly

“Coastal sustainability depends on how economic and coastline responses to climate change affect each other”. A study by Dylan Mc Namara, Brad Murray and Martin Smith

Rich Communities Are Different: They Can Buy More Sand, The New York Times

Nags Head Beach Erosion
Widespread dune erosion in Nags Head, NC. Photo source: USGS

Beach Renourishment Projects in Doubt

Beach re-nourishment. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


On a narrow stretch of Sand Key near the Belleair Beach Club, 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…

Read Full Article, The St Petersburg Times

Topsail Beach Must Sift Shells From New Beach Sand

topsail beach nourishment
A thick bed of oyster shells runs along Topsail Beach. Photo Source: N.C. Division of Coastal Management.


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…

Read Full Article, Star News

Topsail Beach Nourishment project, in Coastal Care

North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, a Documentary by Orrin H. Pilkey, in Coastal Care
Another documentary in The Beaches of The World series, World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey, along with area locals, offer their perspective in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, USA.

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

Padre Island National Seashore. Photo source: ©By Katie McDowell Peek


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

But actually the pile of clay at Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island is what was left of the Brazos Dredging Project that pumps sand out of the Brownsville Ship Channel and onto the beaches of South Padre Island…

Original Article and Video, Valley Central

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


By Nathan Scharn

The City Council has decided to use $65,000 for a regional project that would replenish sand on county beaches. The San Diego Association of Governments, the region’s planning agency, is handling most of the work. The city money will be used to monitor the project’s biological effects on the shoreline, manage construction and acquire permits.

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.

The $21 million second phase is mostly covered by a $19 million grant from the state Department of Boating and Waterways. The rest will be split proportionally between Imperial Beach, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside.

The second phase will add between 1.8 and 2.7 million cubic yards of sand on the beaches.


Carlsbad set aside $1.5 million for the second phase in 2007, and still has $1.3 million of that to contribute for future phases, a staff report said. Last week’s move brings the total Carlsbad contribution for the current replenishment project to about $180,000.

The replenishment project is in its planning stages, and the new sand isn’t expected to hit beaches until 2012.

The sand would come from three offshore dredging sites.

Original Article

Are there any natural beaches remaining in the United States?

Beach re-nourishment, California. Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

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


Over the last several decades, beaches on the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts have experienced rapid development. The vast majority of this development is in the form of vacation homes and investment property.

As the value of coastal property has skyrocketed, the demand to protect these investments from coastal erosion and storms has grown. The result has been a massive transformation of America’s beaches from fully functioning, geomorphic systems with high quality habitat to non-stop engineering projects designed primarily to function as storm buffers for infrastructure.

The most prevalent form of coastal engineering along US beaches today is beach nourishment (rebuilding the beach by pumping sand from another source). Proponents now prefer to use the term “beach restora- tion”. Yet, rebuilding beaches in this way does not meet any of the requirements for environmental restoration as defined by the Society for Ecological Restoration International.

In addition, a recent study commissioned by the US National Park Service and conducted by the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines indicates that even the supposedly protected National Seashores of the US East and Gulf Coasts have had significant impacts from coastal engineering activities.

It is critical that any beaches that still have fully functioning physical and biological systems be identified and protected. We do not need to protect them from erosion. We need to protect them from those who wish to stop the erosion at any cost.

European Geosciences Union, Meeting 2011, Vienna

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

Bondi beach, Australia. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


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, according to a study on climate change-induced beach erosion…

Read Full Article, The Sydney Morning Herald

Land Reclamation at Rotterdam, Netherlands

Sand dredging off the Dutch coast. Sand is brought from a certain distance from the coast with this kind of ship. Then, it’s added to the beach or dumped in the sea very close to the coastline. Photo source: ©© Inyucho

Excerpt from NASA, Earth observatory

In between Germany and France sit the Low Countries, a coastal region of northwestern Europe, consisting of Belgium, the Nehterlands, and Luxembourg, also called Benelux, and where much of the land surface lies near or even below sea level.

This is the case with a quarter of the land in the Netherlands, where the low elevation leaves the land vulnerable to floods. For the past 2,000 years, the Dutch have employed ever-increasing ingenuity to not only hold back the sea, but to annex land from the North Sea. By the thirteenth century, the Dutch were regularly using windmills to pump water off reclaimed areas known as polders. The Netherlands’ polders have been used for crops, settlements, and ports.

A large-scale application of land reclamation has occurred at Rotterdam.

The Landsat 5 satellite observed the port’s expansion on July 16, 2006, July 1, 2009, and July 4, 2010.

Rotterdam Land Reclamation
Rotterdam, July 16, 2006

Rotterdam Land Reclamation
Rotterdam, July 1, 2009

Rotterdam Land Reclamation
Rottedam, July 4, 2010

Originating as a fourteenth-century settlement along a small peat river, Rotterdam eventually grew into Europe’s largest seaport. By 2009, 400 million tons of cargo traveled through the port, but Rotterdam was nearing its capacity. To keep the port competitive, authorities undertook an ambitious project aimed at tripling the port’s capacity.

The aim of the Rotterdam project, known as Maasvlakte 2, is to add 5,000 acres of new land while keeping the port fully functional. Using the same fleet of dredging ships that built Dubai’s Palm Islands, construction workers steadily acquired new land from the sea floor. The process involved sucking sand from the bottom of the ocean and spraying that sand onto designated areas to build up their height. With the sand in place, the next step would involve paving the reclaimed land with some 20,000 massive stone blocks to prevent the reclaimed areas from washing away.

The primary aim for the new land is to serve as container terminals. Raw materials and finished goods shipped over the globe today usually travel in uniformly sized containers that can be transferred between trucks, trains, and ships. By increasing Rotterdam’s container capacity, the Maasvlakte 2 can prevent the port from becoming a trade bottleneck.

Original Article

Maasvlakte 2, Project

Rotterdam Port, Official Site

Rotterdam Port Expansion, It’s Full Speed Ahead, The Wall Street Journal,

Maritime Getaway

2008, Starts of Maasvlakte 2

The Netherlands has grown in size, Dredging Today
An over 4-km long dike has been attached to the mainland off the coast of Rotterdam. The dike forms the contour of Maasvlakte 2, the new expansion of the Rotterdam port. As the coastline presently looks different, the Dutch maps will need to be adapted.

Maasvlakte 2, Science Discovery
The Port of Rotterdam is already Europe’s biggest port, but the Maasvlakte 2 expansion 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.

Dredging Today
Since work started on the construction of Maasvlakte 2 two years ago, 170 million m3 of sand has been brought in. That is more than would be needed to fill the Rotterdam – Fyenoord soccer stadium to the brim 100 times.

Rotterdam Land Reclamation
Rotterdam Land Reclamation, March 27, 2010. Photo Source: Bart Van Damme

Cancun’s Beaches: Vanishing Sand and Wasted Money

Cancun beach erosion. Photo source: ©© John M


Cancun’s eroding white sand beaches are providing a note of urgency to the climate talks being held just south of this seaside resort famed for its postcard-perfect vistas.

Rising sea levels and a series of unusually powerful hurricanes have aggravated the folly of building a tourist destination atop shifting sand dunes on a narrow peninsula…

Read Full Article; USA Today (12-04-2010)

The Battles For The Beaches of Cancun; The Independent (05-08-2010)

Sand Trafficking: Elaborate Schemes,