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

Factbox: Sifting Through U.S. Beach Sand Numbers

Here is a summary of what Florida and other coastal states and communities have been doing to protect and rebuild their shorelines based on to the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) data.

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Gone with the wind: storms deepen Florida’s beach sand crunch

Costs of so-called beach renourishments are a fraction of the total, measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, but the effort is crucial for Florida’s $67 billion tourism industry. And while sand needs are surging, there is not enough to go around.

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Shore towns use sand dredged from inlets to widen beaches

Coastal areas around the country are dredging clogged inlets to make them easier to navigate, and using the sand they suck from the bottom to widen beaches damaged by natural erosion or serious storms. Concerns that have arisen from inlet dredging include possibly disturbing wildlife habitat, or affecting the shape of nearby shorelines.

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Life’s a beach: Cannes ships in sand for film festival

Every year the French Riviera town of Cannes rolls out the red carpet to A-list celebrities at the world’s most glamorous film festival. Now it wants to roll out a bigger beach too. The Mediterranean resort is shipping in 80,000 cubic meters of white sand – enough to fill 32 Olympic swimming pools – to widen the beach along a 1.4 kilometer (0.9 mile) stretch of seafront.

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Did sand from Australia’s east coast get sent to Hawaii?

kangourous-australie

Is it true that back in the day, they used to mine sand at the beach?

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Bahamas sand to fill in Florida beaches? Congress gave OK for study but no funding

The 2016 Water Resources Development Act authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to study using foreign sand, such as from the Bahamas, to widen shorelines without resorting to expensive and inefficient truck hauls from inland mines. A year later the study remains unfunded in the agency’s budget.

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The sands of time

Human intervention to control beach depth is often futile. Repeated studies have found that sand pumped onto beaches in order to protect coastal property may be washed out by a storm or two. These beaches commonly lose all the new sand in five years or so.

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Sand washes away as quickly as it can be dumped, Bathtub Beach, FL

Between 2004 and 2014, some $13.6 million was spent on beach renourishment in Martin County, Florida. About $7.1 million came from local funds — your tax dollars. In the past two years, more than $6 million from a variety of sources has been spent to renourish and restore dunes at Bathtub Beach alone.

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Coastal Commission Rejects Bid to Cancel Broad Beach Sand Replacement Permit

One of the line-items on the November 2017 California Coastal Commission agenda was a one-year extension of the beleaguered Broad Beach Replenishment Project. Following years of delays with issues ranging from sand sourcing to legal battles of all shapes and sizes, the project has been slow to get off the ground, and proponents of alternatives such as artificial reefs are hoping to succeed.

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Recent / Beach Nourishment

Factbox: Sifting Through U.S. Beach Sand Numbers

February 17th, 2018

Here is a summary of what Florida and other coastal states and communities have been doing to protect and rebuild their shorelines based on to the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) data.

Read More

Gone with the wind: storms deepen Florida’s beach sand crunch

February 17th, 2018

Costs of so-called beach renourishments are a fraction of the total, measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, but the effort is crucial for Florida’s $67 billion tourism industry. And while sand needs are surging, there is not enough to go around.

Read More

Shore towns use sand dredged from inlets to widen beaches

February 12th, 2018

Coastal areas around the country are dredging clogged inlets to make them easier to navigate, and using the sand they suck from the bottom to widen beaches damaged by natural erosion or serious storms. Concerns that have arisen from inlet dredging include possibly disturbing wildlife habitat, or affecting the shape of nearby shorelines.

Read More

Life’s a beach: Cannes ships in sand for film festival

January 30th, 2018

Every year the French Riviera town of Cannes rolls out the red carpet to A-list celebrities at the world’s most glamorous film festival. Now it wants to roll out a bigger beach too. The Mediterranean resort is shipping in 80,000 cubic meters of white sand – enough to fill 32 Olympic swimming pools – to widen the beach along a 1.4 kilometer (0.9 mile) stretch of seafront.

Read More

Did sand from Australia’s east coast get sent to Hawaii?

kangourous-australie

December 26th, 2017

Is it true that back in the day, they used to mine sand at the beach?

Read More

Bahamas sand to fill in Florida beaches? Congress gave OK for study but no funding

December 21st, 2017

The 2016 Water Resources Development Act authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to study using foreign sand, such as from the Bahamas, to widen shorelines without resorting to expensive and inefficient truck hauls from inland mines. A year later the study remains unfunded in the agency’s budget.

Read More

The sands of time

December 15th, 2017

Human intervention to control beach depth is often futile. Repeated studies have found that sand pumped onto beaches in order to protect coastal property may be washed out by a storm or two. These beaches commonly lose all the new sand in five years or so.

Read More

Sand washes away as quickly as it can be dumped, Bathtub Beach, FL

November 17th, 2017

Between 2004 and 2014, some $13.6 million was spent on beach renourishment in Martin County, Florida. About $7.1 million came from local funds — your tax dollars. In the past two years, more than $6 million from a variety of sources has been spent to renourish and restore dunes at Bathtub Beach alone.

Read More

Coastal Commission Rejects Bid to Cancel Broad Beach Sand Replacement Permit

November 17th, 2017

One of the line-items on the November 2017 California Coastal Commission agenda was a one-year extension of the beleaguered Broad Beach Replenishment Project. Following years of delays with issues ranging from sand sourcing to legal battles of all shapes and sizes, the project has been slow to get off the ground, and proponents of alternatives such as artificial reefs are hoping to succeed.

Read More

South Florida, Out of Beach, Wants to Buy Sand from the Bahamas

November 2nd, 2017

Miami-Dade County lost 170,000 cubic yards of sand during Hurricane Irma. It’s the latest blow to South Florida beaches in perennial decline. Nearly half the state’s coast—411 miles’ worth of beach—is considered “critically eroded.”

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Related Resources

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