For the last 40 years, beach restoration has been the preferred method of shore protection in coastal communities. Beach restoration is the process of placing beach-quality sand on dwindling beaches to reverse or offset the effects of erosion. The four main reasons for restoration are:
Coastal resiliency is a big buzzword these days. However, the coastal engineering community has been promoting coastal resiliency long before it was popularized and given a name. Engineered beaches form the backbone of a resilient shoreline that is able to respond naturally to the impacts of storms such as Superstorm Sandy.
We must remember that during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, areas protected by engineered beaches that included high dunes provided protection to the infrastructure located behind the beaches and dunes. In its North American Coastal Comprehensive Study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that high dunes and wide beaches significantly increased coastal resiliency and reduced damage in areas that had maintained their beaches and dunes.
The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) honors the Best Restored Beaches in America annually to build awareness of the value of America’s restored beaches.
“In the post-Sandy era it is widely accepted that high dunes and wide beaches are one of the best defenses to minimize the impacts of erosion and flooding from severe storms,” said ASBPA President Tony Pratt. “Many seasonal or new residents of beach communities do not realize that their beach was built and has been maintained over the years. It is important that everyone realize the time and effort that is required to maintain this critical resource.”
Continued public support for restoration is crucial and often difficult to maintain when restoration projects become successful and routine. ASBPA encourages nominations from established, as well as new, projects for the 2016 Best Restored Beaches Award.
The 2015 Best Restored Beaches, who will be recognized at the upcoming annual Coastal Summit in Washington, DC, were:
The award has been given annually since 2002; view our list of previous winners.
To meet submission deadlines, all nominations must be sent electronically to Bestrestoredbeach@asbpa.org by April 10, 2016. The nomination text must be in MS Word, WordPerfect, or PDF, and photos must be saved in JPEG or TIF formats. A nomination checklist is available at www.asbpa.org.