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