Nourishing Eroding Beaches: Examples from the West-Central Coast of Florida
Beach nourishment has been widespread and successful in Florida, and particularly so on the west coast of the peninsula. This highly developed coast has seen more than a dozen large-scale projects in past 20 years. The biggest problem with such projects along this coast is the limited sediment available. Most projects rely on the ebb-tidal deltas of tidal inlets but offshore sand bars are present along some coastal reaches.
The type of construction along with the distance traveled by the nourishment material from the borrow area dictates the cost of a given project. Three adjacent projects on Sand Key provide an excellent opportunity to assess the performance of different construction styles and borrow areas. Detailed monitoring of numerous profiles across the beach at each of the projects permits determination of shoreline changes and sediment volume lost during a given period of time. These data show that the Redington Beach project performed best in all respects over at least a four-year period whereas the Indian Shores Beach project performed the poorest. This can be attributed to the type of construction at each. It should be noted, however, that all three projects performed much better than predicted by the design specifications.
KeywordsBarrier Island Shoreline Change Tidal Inlet Shoreline Position Beach Nourishment
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