Beach Replenishment May Have ‘Far Reaching’ Impacts on Ecosystems

UC San Diego biologists who examined the biological impact of replenishing eroded beaches with offshore sand found that such beach replenishment efforts could have long-term negative impacts on coastal ecosystems.

The scientists, who studied the effects of beach replenishment efforts on the abundance of intertidal invertebrates at eight different beaches in San Diego County, discovered that the movement of sand onto those beaches resulted in a more than twofold reduction in the abundance of intertidal invertebrates after 15 months.

“Such reductions may have far reaching consequences for sandy beach ecosystems,” the researchers warn in their paper, “as community declines can reduce prey availability for shorebirds and fish.”

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