The Problem with Beach Nourishment

Below excerpts are borrowed courtesy of a December 10th article and video published by Vox. The full article is available here.

About 80 to 90 percent of sandy beaches along America’s coastlines are eroding. This is a problem because the developments humans build near them are static. So as beaches shrink, coastal hazards can threaten to damage or destroy homes and businesses while negatively impacting tourism that depends on the beach.

The most popular strategy to counter these risks is a process called beach nourishment. Coastal engineers will add new sand to an eroding beach in order to rebuild or expand the shoreline.

But researchers discovered that coastal defense schemes like beach nourishment may ultimately do more harm than good by providing a false sense of security in critically eroding areas. There is evidence that beach nourishment can “mask or reduce the apparent impact of coastal hazards without changing the natural processes driving them.”

Visit the original article here.

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