From the Editor’s Desk: You meet the finest people on the beach
Lesley C. Ewing
The economic value of beach nourishment in South Carolina
James R. Houston
Tourism has become increasingly important in South Carolina’s economy, particularly beach tourism that accounts for two-thirds of tourist spending. Maintaining beaches is a requirement for a successful beach tourism industry. In the past 30 years, about 1.7 million yd3 of sand has been placed annually on South Carolina beaches. The annual cost has been $20.2 million in 2019 dollars or $13.9 million (2019 dollars) if federal mitigation and emergency sand placements are not included because their purpose was not in support of tourism. Beach nourishment has been very successful in combating shoreline recession. From 1984-1987 through 2006, South Carolina shorelines that were not nourished receded 101 ft on average, and shorelines that were nourished advanced 110 ft on average — and tourism boomed. South Carolina beach tourists generate $16.6 billion annually in South Carolina economic development and about $1.8 billion in taxes. For each $1 spent on beach nourishment, South Carolina receives over $1,200 in economic development generated by beach tourists and federal, state, and local governments receive almost $130 in taxes. Beach tourists have options, and with the state government spending only $3.1 million annually on beach nourishment versus the Florida state government spending $50 million on Florida beaches, South Carolina must be careful to maintain its beaches to continue attracting tourists at record levels.
California harbor dredging: History and trends
Kiki Patsch and Gary Griggs
California is a major shipping point for exports and imports across the Pacific Basin, has large commercial and recreational fisheries, and an abundance of marine recreational boaters. Each of these industries or activities requires either a port or harbor. California has 26 individual coastal ports and harbors, ranging from the huge sprawling container ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to small fishing ports like Noyo Harbor and Bodega Bay. Almost all of California’s ports and harbors were constructed without any knowledge or consideration of littoral drift directions and rates and potential future dredging issues. Rather, they were built where a need existed, where there was a history of boat anchorage, or where there was a natural feature (e.g. bay, estuary, or lagoon) that could be the basis of an improved port or harbor. California’s littoral drift rates and directions are now well known and understood, however, and have led to the need to perform annual dredging at many of these harbors as a result of their locations (e.g. Santa Cruz, Oceanside, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Channel Islands harbors) while other harbors require little or no annual dredging (e.g. Half Moon Bay, Moss Landing, Monterey, Redondo-King and Alamitos Bay). California’s coastal harbors can be divided into three general groups based on their long-term annual dredging volumes, which range from three harbors that have never been dredged to the Channel Islands Harbor where nearly a million cubic yards is removed on average annually. There are coastal harbors where dredging rates have remained nearly constant over time, those where rates have gradually increased, and others where rates have decreased in recent years. While the causal factors for these changes are evident in a few cases, for most there are likely a combination of reasons including changes in sand supply by updrift rivers and streams related to dam construction as well as rainfall intensity and duration; lag times between when pulses of sand added to the shoreline from large discharge events actually reach downdrift harbors; variations in wave climate over time; shoreline topography and nearshore bathymetry that determine how much sand can be trapped upcoast of littoral barriers, such as jetties and breakwaters, before it enters a harbor; and timing of dredging. While there is virtually nothing that can be done to any of these harbors to significantly reduce annual dredging rates and costs, short of modifying either breakwater or jetty length and/or configuration to increase the volume of sand trapped upcoast, thereby altering dredging timing, they are clearly major economic engines, but come with associated costs.
An ASBPA White Paper: U.S. beach water quality monitoring
ASBPA Science & Technology Committee: Angelos Hannides, Nicole Elko, Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Sung-Chan Kim, Annie Mercer, Kyeong Park, Brad Rosov, Ryan Searcy, and Michael Walther
Coastal water quality is an important factor influencing public health and the quality of our nation’s beaches. In recent years, poor water quality has resulted in increased numbers of beach closures and corresponding negative impacts on tourism. This paper addresses some of the issues surrounding the management challenge of coastal water quality, in particular, beach water quality monitoring. For this effort, data on beach water quality monitoring activities conducted by states were assessed and synthesized. In total, 29 states were surveyed: 16 reported information for seawater; six reported for freshwater only; eight reported for both seawater and freshwater. Thresholds for advisories and closure vary nationally; however, all 29 states have established an online presence for their monitoring programs and display advisories and closures in real time, most often on spatial information (GIS) portals. Challenges in monitoring, prediction, and communication are assessed and discussed. Based on this assessment, the committee offers the following recommendations, as detailed in the text:
Coastal Observations: Evolution of a nourished sand beach under low wave energy in Thailand
Jirat Laksanalamai and Nobuhisa Kobayashi
Sand beaches are essential for coastal tourism in Thailand, but erosion narrowed some beaches significantly over the years. Pattaya is a famous resort near Bangkok in the upper Gulf of Thailand. The Pattaya beach is microtidal with the average tidal range of 1.5 m. The average significant wave height is 0.2 m and the wave energy is low. The beach was widened by placing 130 m3/m of medium sand along the shoreline length of 2.8 km between two terminal groins constructed in 2018. The bathymetry and topography were measured in 2015, 2019, and 2020. Approximately 14% of the placed sand in the water depth less than 2 m was lost after one year, as may be expected for nourished beaches. The bathymetry change in the water depth of 2-4 m varied alongshore. The sand volume change in this offshore zone beyond the surf zone was as large as that in the landward sand placement zone. The assumption of negligible profile changes seaward of a closure depth is not applicable to this beach during 2015-2020.
Research Letters: Rip current rescues on unguarded beaches
Aubrey B. Litzinger and Stephen P. Leatherman
Rip currents are the greatest danger at surf beaches. Professional lifeguards rescue tens of thousands of people every year at U.S. beaches, but only a small percentage of the nation’s beaches are guarded. Oftentimes it is a young person who is caught in a rip current, and a bystander will attempt a rescue without a flotation device. The U.S. Lifesaving Association strongly suggests that this kind of rescue should not be undertaken because too often the rescuer will drown. Some coastal towns such as Cocoa Beach in Florida are now posting ring buoys on their unguarded beaches with the warning to throw, but not to go into the water. Ring buoys of two different weights were tested for efficiency when thrown in terms of distance and accuracy. The participants threw the ring buoys two different ways: one way of their choosing (un-instructed) and second by Red Cross recommendation (instructed). The buoyancy was also tested for each buoy. While these flotation devices have some merit, they clearly have limitations.
Coastal Forum: The failure of NSW coastal management reform
In New South Wales (NSW), Australia, awareness of coastal erosion and shoreline recession had its genesis in the late 1920s when storms damaged houses at Collaroy one of Sydney’s northern beaches (Figure 1). At about the same time the Coogee “Fun” Pier, located on a southern Sydney beach and built between 1924 and 1928, was so damaged by wave attack that the remains had to be removed in 1934. Again in 1945 a new seawall at Cronulla, another southern Sydney beach, was damaged beyond repair and at the same time more houses were lost at Collaroy. This was followed in 1967, 1974, and 1978 by major erosion events that threatened both houses and high-rise buildings at Collaroy, resulted in the loss of houses at Bilgola, a northern Sydney beach and in 1978 the loss of houses at Wamberal, 46 km north of Sydney Harbour (Table 1). Unlike the United States of America (USA) where coastal management comes under both federal and state jurisdictions, in Australia it is the province of the governments of each of the states. The federal government does provide some aspirational guidance, but not significant legislative or financial support. There is also no equivalent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide project delivery services. In Australia, the states devolve delivery down to local councils through Acts of Parliament and formal policies that can also have legislative force. However, the failure of the State of NSW to provide all the legislative tools necessary to effectively manage coastal matters at a local council level results in coastal management being abdicated rather than delegated by the state, particularly in relation to private development.
O’Brien Award Winners: An interview with Tom Jarrett
In Memoriam: Remembering Richard J. Seymour, 1929-2021
In Memoriam: Honoring the legacy of Dr. J. Richard Weggel
Book Review: “Design of Coastal Hazard Mitigation Alternatives for Rising Seas” by David Basco
Reviewed by Meagan Flier
ASBPA’s 14th annual photography contest