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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The following editorial originally ran in The Southampton Press, Western edition, Page A11 of Thursday, August 6, 2015.
On Monday, August 10, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a public hearing in Quogue allowing local residents to air their views regarding the village’s permit application for a comprehensive $15 million beach nourishment project. (Click here to launch a pre-addressed email to the DEC, and let your voice be heard!) The application seeks approval to dredge 1.1 million cubic yards of sand from a “borrow area” located one mile offshore and place it, in various proportions, along the entire 2.7-mile Quogue beachfront. The stated purpose of the project is to replace the accumulated sand deficit, mitigate further erosion and maintain the integrity of the barrier island.
Not surprisingly, however, a thorough review of previously submitted written comments to the DEC indicates that the hearing will further highlight that opposition to this project is committed and widespread; in fact, if a voter referendum were held today it would probably be defeated by a substantial majority. Continue reading A Long-Term Solution Is Needed For Quogue’s Beaches
On February 4th, Dr. Robert S. Young, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, released the following report (click here), which provides a multi-faceted perspective on the proposed beach nourishment project for the Village of Quogue.
The perspective provided by Dr. Young is based on an evaluation of a report entitled “Shoreline Erosion Assessment and Plan for Beach Restoration Village of Quogue, New York,” which was prepared in July 2011 and has served as the basis for required permit applications to carry out the beachfill project.
In addition, the document contains comments and observations stemming from Dr. Young’s long experience of evaluating coastal engineering projects and assisting community partners with local project assessment.
This evaluation was prepared at the request of the Concerned Citizens of Quogue. We hope that this document can provide additional points for discussion as our community evaluates options for the future management and protection of the Village’s beaches.
To read the report in full, please click here.