All posts by Karl Hungus

DUMPING SAND

Below excerpts are from a July 20th article published by The Southampton Press. The full article is available here.

“The planned Army Corps project, with the acronym FIMP [is] now scheduled to fully begin next year.

“It’s no longer estimated to cost in the millions of dollars. The price has now gone up to ‘more than $3 billion'”–50 percent of which will be federally funded.

“As to the other 50 percent of the ‘approximately $1.5 billion’ of the beach ‘renourishment cost,’ where’s that money to come from? That would be a ‘local’ obligation — to come from the state, Suffolk County and the towns where the renourishment take place.

“…It is inevitable that the FIMP project ‘will unravel both physically and financially. Demand will outpace the Army Corps’ ability to deliver sand when every coastal community up and down the East Coast is in line and back in line. … Perpetual sand replenishment is both economically and environmentally unsustainable.’ 

[Mr. McAllister] “predicts a public ‘awakening’ when that so-called renourishment phase is to happen and the ‘local financial obligation kicks in and hits home with taxpayers. Long Island politicians need to stop kicking the can and give some tough love — and develop and execute withdrawal/rollback plans for vulnerable areas without further delay.'”

Click here to read the full article.

How Famous Surfers and Wealthy Homeowners Are Endangering Hawaii’s Beaches

Below excerpts are from a December 5th article co-published by ProPublica and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The full article is available here.

For decades, homeowners in Punalu‘u watched from large picture windows as locals sunned on the beach and dove for octopus amid the coral reefs of northeast Oahu.

But year after year, the ocean inched closer and closer to their wooden beach houses, and by 2006, it was threatening to claw them away.

Two homeowners asked the state for permission to erect mounds of sandbags along the beach for protection.

Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources agreed, with one key condition: The emergency measures would be temporary. Such shoreline structures can hasten beach erosion, and state officials were trying to ensure that didn’t happen. The homeowners had a few years to come up with long-term plans for their homes and remove the sandbags.

But as the deadlines approached, state officials granted them an extension. Then, another. The decisions set off a cascade of armoring along the coastline, as neighboring homeowners put up their own sandbags to guard against seasonal waves and rising seas.

Today, nearly 15 years later, the sandbags remain and the beach is largely gone. If members of the public want to reach the ocean, they must clamber over a makeshift seawall, covered by black and tan fabric and held together with rope, and past “No Trespassing” and “Danger” signs.

Continue reading here.

Beaches Can Survive Sea Level Rises As Long As They Have Space to Move

Below excerpts are from an October 27th article published on Phys.org by the University of Plymouth. The full article is available here.

“There is potential for beaches to migrate landwards as sea level rises and shorelines retreat.

“The key notion behind that is that if beaches have space to move into under the influence of rising sea levels—referred to as accommodation space—they will retain their overall shape and form but in a more landward position.

“The new research says that beaches backed by hard coastal cliffs and engineering structures, such as seawalls, are indeed likely to disappear in the future due to sea-level rise as these beaches are unable to migrate landward…

“However, beaches backed by low-lying coastal plains, shallow lagoons, salt marshes and dunes will migrate landward as a result of rising sea level. In these cases, the shoreline will retreat, but the beaches are still likely to remain, albeit a little raised in elevation and located landward, and will certainly not go ‘extinct’.”

Continue reading here.