The news reports about beach replenishment projects often cite erosion from a recent storm and just accept it as fact. Storms pull sand offshore, often into sand bars and beaches typically seems less wide a month after a storm. But six months or a year after a storm the sand is typically back and the beaches are at pre storm widths. But they never measure the beach just before these projects to show the sand has returned; they just do the project, like they did here in Delaware. Original story from Nov, 12, 2013 by Elaine Bean appears in Delmarvanow.com
News reports often don’t mention the problems associated with beach fill or beach replenishment. Read about them in the “Costs of Beacfill section of this Beachapedia article. And read some specific situations from Delaware here and here
Opinion piece by Robert Young, October 31, 2013 that originally appeared on Yale University’s Environment 360 website.
To paraphrase Robert Young, Director of the Program for Study of Developed Shorelines, we are merely pulling up our pants in response to sea level rise, not getting out of the rising water’s way. One year after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the U.S. East Coast, the government is spending billions to replenish beaches that will only be swallowed again by rising seas and future storms. It’s time to develop coastal policies that take into account new climate realities.
Full article here
We are big fans of dunes here, preferably the natural ones, and well vegetated. But even the Army Corps dunes built during beachfills and replenishment provide some measure of protection. The problem is not all Army Corps beachfill projects include dunes. This Op-Ed from the Asbury Park Press Dec 11, 2012 asks why. So should you.