Thursday, August 13, 2015

Speaking of sand...

  First we have this...
   Beaches will be widened  by more than 200 feet in parts of Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale, as Broward County's biggest beach restoration project in 10 years begins this fall.
   A parade of dump trucks will carry sand from mines in Florida's interior to a five-mile stretch of coast from northern Fort Lauderdale to southern Pompano Beach where years of erosion (?) have narrowed some beaches to just a few years.
   The $55 million project ... calls for roughly 45,000 truck trips from the center of Florida to carry up to 750,000 cubic yards of sand to the coast - about 300 truck trips a day.
  In Fort Lauderdale, beaches will be widened from 70 to 240 feet, in Lauderdale-by-the-sea by about 160 feet and in Pompano Beach by about 200 to 250 feet. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel      
  But then there is this...
  Beaches are facing off against a changing climate, and they're losing ground. Literally.
  Waves, currents, storms and people all move the sand that makes beaches, But a combination of rising sea levels, stronger coastal storms and coastal development means that sandy shorelines are increasingly disappearing, leaving the millions who live there facing challenges in a warming world.
   "Sea level rise of one foot or a foot and a half per century is basically inundating and drowning the shoreline," Norbert Psuty, professor of coastal geomorphology at Rutgers University, said.
   A common solution to beach erosion is beach nourishment ... to replace lost sand on the beach. But this process is time consuming and costly.
   "As a short term solution, it's OK if you're doing it to allow for changes to be made to reduce the infrastructure and to allow the system to return to quasi-natural state," Psuty said.

    Yet the motive behind beach nourishment often has more to do with protecting shoreline property and tourism from rising seas than allowing beaches to return to their natural state.
    "Development is absolutely responsible for the majority of beach nourishment,' Arthur Coburn, assistant director of  The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, said.
    Sea level has risen about eight inches since 1900 as climate change has melted land ice and warmed the ocean, but the rate is projected to increase as temperatures rise.       

    According to the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, oceans could reach 3-5 feet higher by century's end and as much as 20 feet higher in the more distant future.
    As the waters rise higher, beach nourishment projects are likely to become more frequent.
   But the price tag for the never-ending battle may soon  be too much.
  "The cost per cubic yard of sand has steadily gone up," Coburn said. "At some point, a lot of places are not going to be able to afford it.
 But not  to worry.

    We'll all be dead by the time Southeast Florida is under water.

                 A classic Rear Guard Action?

No comments:

Post a Comment