Beach Erosion--Can it be fixed?

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

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  1. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    Do any of you know what they did to restore the beaches at Sea Island, Georgia? For years it was necessary to walk down stairs to get from ground level to the beach level. Then at some point the beach level was almost at ground level. Someone told us that they filled in the beach with rocks, etc., covered it over with concrete, then covered the concrete with sand - sort of like a sand-covered parking lot. The sand is so hot that they need soaker hoses to prevent people from burning the bottoms of their feet.

    Also, do any of you know about the beach restoration history at Fripp? The last time I was there, they had huge rocks instead of dunes (looked awful) with long staircases. There was very little beach, and we had to time our beach walks with the tides because at high tide, the beach totally disappeared. I've known people who got stranded a distance from where they were staying because they had to take the first available stairwell since the Atlantic gets so rough at high tide. My husband almost ended up in that situation. In trying to get back to the walkover for the area where we were staying, the waves literally ripped the watch off his arm. I've heard from a friend who has been to Debidue that it's the same situation there.

    These were both beach restorations that attempted to fix the erosion, but if we followed one of these paths, the character of the Panhandle beaches as we once knew them would be gone (actually it might already be gone). Maybe there's a better way to fix the erosion using today's technology .. that is, if it is decided that it should be fixed. I'd hate to be the ones making the decision - with all of the diverse opinions that I've read, no matter what they decide, someone will be angry. I sympathize with the property owners whose property is falling into the Gulf - what a nightmare!
     
  2. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, through consultation with other state and federal agencies, has granted Walton County permission to perform beach scraping along all 26 miles of Walton County beaches.
     
  3. Linda

    Linda Beach Fanatic

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    FYI

    Beach Scraping
    Beach scraping (i.e., grading and bulldozing) is the process of reshaping beach and dune landforms with heavy machinery. Usually a layer of sand from the lower beach is moved to the upper beach. Beach scraping creates dunes, which are used to give property owners some security from beach erosion, severe storms, and winter washover events. During the summers, the created sandbanks may be bulldozed flat, providing water views to property owners. However, the effects of beach scraping on coastal environments are little known, and this procedure may be harmful to coastal biota and habitats. Proponents claim that beach scraping is a time and cost-effective method to ensure shoreline protection, while opponents state that this method may be the most ecologically destructive form of coastal manipulation to date.

    This information was from an interesting web site about beach nourishment - http://www2.nature.nps.gov/views/KCs/CoastalG/HTML/ET_Processes.htm
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
  4. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    I can see both sides of this coin. It seems to me the only way to provide immediate protection to the ravaged dunes and to save property that can be saved. But, from what I saw from the previous project, it messed something fierce with the beach's own ability to regulate itself. High tides were bizarre, the shoreline looked queer, natural sand accretion (or whatever it is called) seemed impaired. After Arlene, things seemed to iron themselves out and some normality seemed to resume. OTOH, don't know squat about this stuff.

    Hope this isn't one of those "We had to kill the beach to save the beach" scenarios.
     
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