Monday, November 3, 2008

Beach erosion and sand renourishment

Over the past couple of months, we've talked about beach erosion and included some excellent photographs sent to us by beach-walking friends. I took this picture last month while Matt was videotaping Ed and Curt on a stroll along Canova Beach, and it gives a decent perspective of the erosion (and how the sea oats are valiently trying to keep everything together).

This morning's Florida Today headlines announced a $7M federal grant that would be used for sand renourishment along the south beaches - Indialantic and Melbourne Beach. Most of the folks I know have mixed emotions about sand renourishment. From a practical point of view, the next Tropical Storm Fay could wash that $7M worth of sand right back out. From an environmental standpoint, Sea Turtle Preservation Society board member Dave Hotchburg stated it thusly: "It's like a two-edged sword. Without the renourishment, there's not as much beach for the turtles to use. But it always changes the beach," he said. "No matter how closely they match the sand to the rest of the beach, it's going to be different. And the turtles react to it." Hochberg said records indicate that "false crawls," or aborted egg-laying expeditions, increased on some beaches and decreased on others after crews added new sand.

Our Beach Hunter friend, David McRee, has some interesting photos on his website showing beach renourishment projects on Florida's west coast.

A reminder that the Sea Turtle Preservation Society has an excellent program scheduled for its meeting on Thursday, November 6, 7:30 P.M., Melbourne Beach Community Center. Karen Holloway-Adkins, a Wildlife Biologist, will speak on Coastal Waters and Reefs: Sea Turtle Foraging Habitat. These meetings are open to the public, and you'll be cordially welcomed by this dynamic group of folks. Doors open at 7:00, so come a little early and meet some interesting new friends.


Amanda said...

Have you ever wondered what is to become of the beaches of Dubai? (maybe miss-spelled) You know in Arabia where they made all those weird shaped islands by dredging up sand? They has to have torn up a lot of ocean floor to do that. Wonder what effects it will have on the fish etc?

David McRee, --BeachHunter said...

Those are the Palm Islands and here is a good, but not scientific, article that addresses some of the environmental effects: