Communities searching for information to make coastal management decisions often want to know the answers to these and more questions. Coastal scientists looking for good data also want to know, as does the media when they’re researching stories.
Until now, there wasn’t a source of easily-accessible national statistics online. But, on Feb. 28, the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) rolled out a new online National Beach Nourishment Database – featuring data on projects comprised of nearly 1.5 billion cubic yards of sand placed in nearly 400 projects covering the continental U.S. coastline.
The new database is online at www.asbpa.org.
In addition to the total volume and the number of projects, the database includes the number of nourishment events, the oldest project, the newest project, the known total cost, the total volume and the known length. The information is broken into both state statistics and those of local or regional projects. Every coastal continental state is included (so Alaska and Hawaii are still being compiled), and projects along the Great Lakes are similarly waiting to be added.
It can also be updated as appropriate, both as new projects get under way and as more information on existing projects is unearthed. In fact, coastal professionals are encouraged to submit any data they have access to that would expand the database’s scope and accuracy.
Under the leadership of Nicole Elko, Ph.D., ASBPA’s Science and Technology Committee – a group of more than 25 coastal professionals from across the country and spanning a range of disciplines – spearheaded the collection and verification of data. ASBPA collaborated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Regional Sediment Management Program and CB&I to develop this resource, which draws on nearly 70 data sources as diverse as Western Carolina’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines to the U.S. Army Corps’ of Engineers Dredging Information System.
“ASBPA is an appropriate multidisciplinary organization – comprised of state beach managers, industry professionals, universities and communities – to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide us with a broadly sourced resource,” said Elko, ASBPA Vice President for Science & Technology. The projects included those with “captured” sand (e.g. inlet, offshore or upland) which was placed on the beach.
Three different kinds of projects were considered:
“This inventory is critical for a small beach community that feels like it is dealing with a complicated issue all alone.” Elko added. “Those communities can now see that there have been projects constructed since the early 20th century in every coastal state in the continental U.S. These projects are coastal infrastructure that protect people, communities, other infrastructure, and jobs and are nesting, resting and feeding places for wildlife.”
The database was compiled from many sources nationwide and then reviewed for duplication and error (an ongoing process, but one which is being addressed here by cross-referencing and review by an array of coastal professionals). Work on assembling this database began in 2004.
So, to answer those coastal questions at the beginning:
Founded in 1926, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that advocates for healthy coastlines by promoting the integration of science, policies and actions that maintain, protect and enhance the coasts of America. From its formation, ASBPA has worked with Congress to pass significant legislation to define and refine a strong and necessary role for the federal government in the management and preservation or our nation’s shorelines.
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ABOUT ASBPA: Founded in 1926, the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that advocates for healthy coastlines by promoting the integration of science, policies and actions that maintain, protect and enhance the coasts of America. For more information on ASBPA, go to www.asbpa.org, Facebook or www.twitter.com/asbpa. For information, to change your email address or to unsubscribe from this list, contact us at email@example.com. A complete collection of Beach News Service articles is available for media access online at. https://asbpa.org/publications/american-beach-news-service/