Beach Erosion--Can it be fixed?

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Travel2Much, Jul 11, 2005.

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  1. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    The interesting thing politically is the play between short term and long term interests. Choosing a strategy to handle the problem of getting through the wretched hurricane season without compromising the long term health of the beach and community. In my experience situations like this always really suck, because people seize on the immediate crisis to obtain things that really in the long term scheme of things were bad, and the pressures of the immediate crisis cause people to throw the big picture out and cave in.
    And yet if you think only long term you don't see immediate problem.

    I wish it were October.
     
  2. wetwilly

    wetwilly Beach Fanatic

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    I hope that a long term view is taken to the restoration but the reality seems to be that SoWal needs the tourism $$s and some or all of us owner's/rentees do as well and a large % of the people that come down to this area want gulf front or at least a view, a pool, and easy access to the beach....it is expected and they do not want to be inconvenienced or work too hard....this is not meant to offend any renters or anyone at all it is just a fact....I am partially guilty of thinking this way too...so some short term measures are going to be taken to get thru this Summer season. I just hope as many on this forum do that SoWal and the powers that be that make decisions on the restoration will not do the short term "quick" fix for this season to make it more convenient and safe to enjoy and then forget about the longer term fix. It is human nature for some people to push the limits of what is allowable and developers, builders, buyers, and sellers will continue to push for close frontage and that is a fact that will remain...if the powers that be (county, government etc) will allow them to built it close(r) and they do it then people will want it and pay more for it. Fact. Unfortunately, $$ is king and dictates alot of this and other aspects of our lives.

    I just hope they can find a delicate balance between short term repair for the immediate season AND do the right ting long term.

    Also, the Duke prof if you read it closely makes a sweeping generalization that some of us are ignorant, in denial, crazy/mad, and arrogant. I suspect that he is too based on re-reading this article....just my thoughts on this. :cool:
     
  3. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    I know a couple of academics and generally they are quite dogmatic and intractable folk, and positions like that are what gets you quoted.

    BUT, one thing he says in his paper at the noaa site is that renourished beaches are significantly less resistant to storms and erode quicker. Having watched Arlene (a dumb little tropical storm) wash a significant part of months of work out to sea in an afternoon, I think he has a point.
     
  4. wetwilly

    wetwilly Beach Fanatic

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    Absolutely he has some very good points. But they are somewhat potentially missed due to his approach and his attempt to grab headlines. I don't know about you or anyone else out there but when people make sweeping statements and generalizations I tend not to really read the content, give them the credit they should get, or give it much thought. Also, I (and others) tend to shut down and tune out when someone intimates that I am in denial, mad, or "not very smart". When I approach topics like he has (and I can get that way), I am not suprised when people shut down and don't listen to me or care about my point.

    I think we all know that building or treading too close to nature is a blessing but not without possible peril or consequence. So, some do it and hope for the best, some do it and are in denial or don't think rationally about what "could" happen, and others just do it or enjoy it while we can and try not to scar it or ruin it for others. Not trying to get too deep her but realistic. :cool:
     
  5. SlowMovin

    SlowMovin Beach Fanatic

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    If it's like everything else in life, some compromise between the dogmatic, long-term and immediate-gratification, short-term approaches is probably appropriate.

    I think there will have to be some immediate work done to get the beaches usable and to salvage what can be salvaged of the severely damaged properties. Some of this work will not be ideal and would not be my preference under normal conditions. Once we've 'stopped the bleeding', though, I think we can go back to a more long-term philosophy.
     
  6. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Wise you are.
     
  7. OhioBeachBum

    OhioBeachBum Beach Fanatic

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    Well, sifting through all of the material on this board does give a non-resident a much better perspective. I used to look forward to when I might be able to afford the $$ to stay in one of those beach-side houses (after kid's college drain is gone <grin>) but doing so would seem to make me a problem contributor - wife says I'm still a boy scout (she's probably right, leave the camp site in better shape when you leave and all that).

    Maybe a bright spot to Dennis (and this forum) is an incremental enlightenment of folks like me.

    Kurt & Joe, if I do make it down there week of 07/24 (jury's still out til I hear from rental folks - maybe tomorrow), you're both welcome to my cold ones. Look for a brought-my-own umbrella with an OhioBeachBum sign on it (and relatively bright Ohio skin) near GWE if you find yourselves in that neighborhood. :cool:
     
  8. sarawind

    sarawind Beach Fanatic

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  9. WaltonUndercurrent

    WaltonUndercurrent Beach Lover

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  10. Bob

    Bob SoWal Insider

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    Whatever is done will not stop nature. For a lesson in the power of nature, take a look at New Smyrna Beach today. Not long ago, New smyrna Beach was as wide as a football field during low tide. At the south end of the beach, near Canaveral National Seashore, Bethune Beach looked like many areas in Walton County look now. Homeowners tried everything,huge coquina bolders, gigantic chunks o' concrete, seawalls etc. to no avail. The homes and walkovers were subject to the fury of the next Atlantic Storm. Then along came Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne. In six short weeks the situation was reversed completely. The north end of the beach, where driving was allowed w/ 50-100 yard width of hardpacked sand was essentially gone. Today, on the north end, people are up against the seawalls and on-ramps at high tide. The south end of the beach, where people derided the owners for building so close to the beach, is much wider. Dredge, pump, infill, wall, reinforce as well as you can, in the end it will not matter. Walton County's issues are worsened by the fact that where the homes sit, there is no gradient anymore.
     
  11. Cork On the Ocean

    Cork On the Ocean directionally challenged

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    That's encouraging Bob :D You are absolutely right that if Mother nature wants it, she gets it. Our hope is to delay it until she'll get off this rampage that she's on for the last 10 months. I'm not an expert but I think it's USUALLY worse on the Atlantic than it is on the Gulf.
     
  12. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    If memory serves me correctly (that's a BIG if) when erosion took place in Galveston, people were not allowed to rebuild on gulf front property. Are there laws concerning this? I'm so sorry for those who are dealing with this situation. We always wish we had gulf front until this happens. I hope there will be a good solution concerning shoring up the damaged homes and dunes.

    To those "returning" sand to the beaches...you rock! Years ago, I though it would be a great idea to collect a sample of sand from every beach we visited. Then I thought of that saying..."What if everyone had the same idea!". I'm sure you catch my drift. I bet it will be a spiritual moment for you to bring back the sand. You could even post pics!
     
  13. sarawind

    sarawind Beach Fanatic

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    Galveston did not allow rebuilding for 6 months to give the beach time to restore and renourish. Houses that were past the vegetation line, which separates public from private land were not allowed to rebuild. Many of these house were heavily damaged or septic systems comprimised. Houses that were at least 10% landward of the vegatation line were permitted to rebuild.
     
  14. sarawind

    sarawind Beach Fanatic

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    More on Galveston, homeowners who were partially over vegatation line due to Hurricane Frances were allowed to rebuild. Only homes over vegatation were not allowed to rebuild.
     
  15. Bob

    Bob SoWal Insider

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    I think some tough decisions are going to be made for Walton County. I hope the decisions are conservative, because the next storm will just rearrange whatever is done.
     
  16. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    I just read today's Walton Sun and "conservative" doesn't seem to be the current route. Lots of talk about large scale projects and this and that. "Rash" and "panicky" might describe it. I don't agree with that approach, at least tentatively. They seem to think that somehow there is some magic solution to getting the beaches looking perfect for everyone a couple days after a category three hurricane.

    I have been riding around and think the beach looks great, but I always think the beach looks great. Sand is gradually coming back. Nature is definitely recarving the duneline in the east, that's for sure. I find it fascinating. My attitude right now is to leave it to nature. Any solutions will simply be a waste of money.
     
  17. sarawind

    sarawind Beach Fanatic

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    Don't know if you own a home or property that's beach front but let me tell you as a home owner on the beach, conservative is not what I need. My home, along with many others, is in danger. To appreciate panicky, you may need to experience your home dangling from the edge of a cliff.
     
  18. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    Ooops, didn't mean that. I distinguish the situation of the homes damaged issue from the "what to do in the future" issue. The former issue is critical and demands all of the county's immediate attention, in my view. It's the latter issue I was talking about not rushing to conclusions on.
     
  19. wetwilly

    wetwilly Beach Fanatic

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    I'm not an engineer nor a scientist but it seems to me that some radical and aggressive measures need to be taken as far as repairing and getting the foundations restored and safe for the gulf front properties. Then in parallel, they need to come up with a short term "fix" for the protection line near what was the dune line (obviously there is no quick fix or one that is not natural that will work) and then they need to plan and undertake a long term approach that will aid mother nature in restoring the dunes over time.

    As has been said by others, there is no method that is going to work short or long term like mother nature. However, something needs to be done to get these structures safe and sound asap.

    I too am sorry for anyone that has lost a home or is gulf front and has a foundation issue. I hope they make some good decisions for the long and the short term.
     
  20. Bob

    Bob SoWal Insider

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    I think all gulf front owners who are in extremis, should be helped now! It's the overall gameplan that should be conservative, because of the obvious. These storms are utterly unstoppable.
     
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