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Seawalls

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Blake, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Blake

    Blake Beach Crab

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    I was on the water yesterday viewing the Gulf front properties along 30-A. It is interesting to see different types of seawalls people are installing in an effort to protect their property. It will be very interesting what stands up to the storms and what doesn't. I hope we never find out. I have attached some photos --Blake
     
  2. DolphinDude

    DolphinDude Beach Comber

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    An effective seawall should dissipate the energy from the wave action. Sand dunes work best because they absorb a lot of the energy before the wave heads back out to sea. Every man-made barrier I have seen creates an energy backwash. The result being sand washed away from the beach. If the barrier is big/tall enough, the property is "saved" at the expense of the beach. What you have left is usually hard packed sand and no beach to speak of at high tide. :sosad:
     
  3. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    That's what happened at Fripp with what they did to save property. You can get trapped during a walk on the beach when the tide starts coming in and must escape via the closest walkover and walk home on the nearest roadway. It's awful and ugly.
     
  4. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    That sounds scary indeed!!
     
  5. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks for the photos - they are sad.
     
  6. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    and to think, they could have all had a nice jetty rock covered broken dune face across the whole county :doh:

    [​IMG]

    the proof, and why not to use seawalls:
    http://www.seahorsecontractors.com/rock/open.html

    btw, turtles nest in sand on top of rock and even small pockets of sand within solid rock all the time

    it should be fun watching and betting on which wall 'breaches' first!

    carribean island related, but useful:

    http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/source/ero7.htm

    [​IMG]

    http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/source/ero8.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2005
  7. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    wow, this island thingy from UNESCO (is that the UN?) is the most valuable resource I've ever seen for beach erosion (and other things):

    start page: http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/source/ero6.htm

    neat!

    too bad no one's ever read it at the courthouse

    if you go through the cases at the bottom of the page and you'll have a full education on beach erosion and the fixes of it

    wow - there it is (in Case #2)!
    "Maintain a wide and stable beach.
    A wide beach is the best protection against the high waves and storm surge generated by a hurricane. A beach is a flexible barrier which will be eroded during the storm but rebuilt quickly afterwards. Any measures which help to protect a beach or dune area, such as setting new buildings well back from the active wave impact zone, conserving natural beach and dune vegetation, dune stabilization practices and preventing beach sand mining, will help to conserve the beach as a natural storm barrier."

    WOW! (still in Case #2) "Allow time for the beach to recover naturally. Do not rush out and build walls or other hard structures, since these may actually impede recovery."

    [​IMG]

    get ready for some new gulffront property!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2005
  8. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    [​IMG] hey, wait a minute - from Kurt's seawall construction photos it would appear that the function of the 'seawall' may be not to protect the dune from further destruction from the sea but to stop the dune slump that would undermine the building further - notice the cable structure designed to hold the wall from bowing out, not stopping the waves from the sea! I wish I had seen that unesco thing before - I never noticed this!
     
  9. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    This is a hot-button issue if ever there was one. I understand that homes must be saved, but at what cost?

    My question is, why is the county not stepping in and instutiting some kind of guidelines/rules so if there is to be seawall construction, it is consistent from an aesthetic standpoint?

    To me, nothing is uglier than four beach homes all in a row with four different kinds of seawalls.
     
  10. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    It really is time for that vomiter smilie. I am curious about these structures, but will try and not see them in person if I can help it. Are these the "quick" fix walls or have they gotten a final okay from the county?
     
  11. seagrovelover

    seagrovelover little sugar

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    Thanks for the pictures Blake, what a huge change this is for sowal beaches.
     
  12. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    Ok, I have an idea. Let's all just look out at the sea, she is beautiful, and then let's all look up at that beautiful moon and stars. Then in the daytime do the same thing, look up at that beautiful blue sky and awesome clouds...let's not turn around and look at any of the beach homes. Let's walk blindfolded down to the beach and don't peek. That is what I am gonna do the next time I am down there, if the seawalls look bad. Then, I am going to enjoy the friends and family I am there with. I am gonna say a little prayer for the homeowners, and business owners that the homes and businesses they have, don't fall off the dunes.
     
  13. Landlocked

    Landlocked Beach Fanatic

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    Can you imagine what it would have been like to walk down that beach back in say, the 1500's? Talk about beautiful! You'd have to fight off the wildlife with a stick.

    Oh, and Blake, :welcome:
     
  14. Coast is Clear

    Coast is Clear Beach Lover

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    We came across some pictures from about 1996 when our kids were pretty young on the beach and it was shocking to see where the beach was and where it is today. :eek:

    The dunes were huge and very deep, and the beach was at least 2x the depth it is today. I know this is not news to most long timers, but it was a surprise to stumble onto those pictures and see the reality of it.

    Now, all that being said, I still think the beaches are beautiful and feel very lucky to get to enjoy them whenever I can. Sometimes I just need to remind myself to not say, 'if only' and be accepting of what God and life have to offer. :D
     
  15. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    Interesting you mention that, as this is something I think about all the time. I would love to see these beaches the way DeSoto saw them.

    Actually, anyone who saw the the South Walton beaches prior to 1970 got a pretty good idea of what the Spaniards saw in the 17th century. It really hasn't been that long ago that you could walk from Destin to Grayton and see nothing but dunes.
     
  16. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    Yeah, but it'll be like at Fripp. Because of the seawalls, there won't be any beach to walk on anytime near high tide!
     
  17. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    :welcome: Blake and thanks for the pics.
     
  18. Bob

    Bob SoWal Insider

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    SoWal will learn this lesson after it is too late. The seawalls will actually promote erosion.
     
  19. thumper

    thumper Beach Comber

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    I don't frequent this forum very often, so excuse me if this has been addressed already. But its time to stop complaining, mount the cavalry and put a stop to seawalls, like we did to high rises back when. I hear lots of noise but see no action being taken. Granted, people who build seawalls are acting on fear, but it borders on shameful. (If anyone is building a wall and would like to rebut me, please do.) There are better ways to protect properties-- that won't eliminate the beach.

    Beachfront owners, Tear Down Your Walls.
     
  20. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    time will tell, because:

    a) I don't think they *are* seawalls - they seem to be more like retaining walls made specifically to keep the dune sand the buildings are built on from sliding out from under the buildings - they don't meet the Florida DEP specs for a 'seawall' anyway, either buried or non-buried

    b) they may end up functioning as seawalls when Wilma or the next one comes ashore somewhere closer than south florida, then they will collapse as they don't have any scour protection to keep the wet sand from slipping out from around or under them

    oh well, what do I know, anyway
     

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