Nicole Elko, Kimberley McKenna, Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Nicholas Brown, Michael Walther, and Dawn York, 2020. “Best management practices for coastal inlets”, Shore & Beach, 88(3), 75-83.
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Best management practices for coastal inlets
Nicole Elko(1), Kimberley McKenna(2), Tiffany Roberts Briggs(3), Nicholas Brown(3), Michael Walther(4) and Dawn York(5)
1) ASBPA, P.O. Box 1451, Folly Beach, SC 29439; firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Stockton University Coastal Research Center, 30 Wilson Avenue, Port Republic, NJ 08241
3) Florida Atlantic University, Department of Geosciences, 777 Glades Road, SE43, Boca Raton, FL 33431
4) Coastal Tech–G.E.C. Inc., 3625 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL, 32960
5) Moffatt & Nichol, 272 North Front Street, Suite 204, Wilmington, NC 28401
Coastal inlets separate individual barrier islands or barrier spits and adjacent headlands (Hayes and Fitzgerald 2013). Inlets modify longshore transport and store sediment in flood and ebb shoals leading to dynamic adjacent shorelines. For example, 80% to 85% of the beach erosion in Florida can be attributed to inlets (Dean 1991). In some cases, structured inlets are designed to trap sand in a preferred location to minimize interference with navigation and facilitate its removal through dredging. Sound coastal engineering practice requires that this sand be placed on adjacent eroding beaches (NRC 1995) to protect coastal resources. This paper provides a brief overview of coastal inlet management and identifies Best Management Practices (BMPs) intended to balance human needs for inlet navigation with the natural systems adjacent to tidal inlets. Today’s conservation measures, which are a result of considerable monitoring, numerical modeling, and other science-based methods, demonstrate that BMPs improve management of sand resources and reduce impacts associated with tidal inlet dredging. For some inlet conditions, BMPs include use of inlet sediment sinks as cost-effective and eco-friendly sand sources for beach nourishment projects located close to the inlet. For optimal coastal inlet management, the ASBPA Science and Technology Committee recommends the following BMPs and conservation measures: