Orrin Pilkey, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Duke University, has been at the forefront of visionary thinking on coastal adaptation. Dr. Pilkey has authored multiple books examining coastal processes and government’s response to a moving coastline in the face of sea level rise. His recent article, Large Buildings Threaten N.C. Beaches, explains how coastal development–by transforming from small cottages to large-scale homes and development–has increased the demand for beach nourishment and inevitably leads to destructive seawalls.
We were very pleased to learn that the Quogue Village Trustees determined earlier this year that a beach nourishment project is not a prudent course of action at this time. Public education and participation was an important factor in their decision. Going forward, it’s essential that our Quogue community stay informed and remain part of the evolving conversation on the future of our beaches.
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.”
Read the full article by clicking here.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy split Fire Island into two islands, creating a new inlet to the bay behind it. Contrary to the fears of many, there is no evidence suggesting that the opening of the new inlet has increased the risk of of flooding to the mainland (see the following USGS study, Hurricane Sandy Impacts Did Not Contribute to Subsequent Storm Flooding). In fact, scientists say that the breach actually helps clean the bay waters, and fishermen are seeing positive changes.
The following video is courtesy of National Geographic.