Beach nourishment is the latest chapter in a never-ending tale of erosion.
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About 80 to 90 percent of sandy beaches along America’s coastlines are eroding. This is a problem because the developments humans build near them are static. So as beaches shrink, coastal hazards can threaten to damage or destroy homes and businesses while negatively impacting tourism that depends on the beach.
The most popular strategy to counter these risks is a process called beach nourishment. Coastal engineers will add new sand to an eroding beach in order to rebuild or expand the shoreline.
Watch the video above to learn more about how beach nourishments can help defend the coast but are problematic as a long-term solution.
For more, here are the links to our sources for this video:
Randall Parkinson on beach nourishment and climate change mitigation:
ProPublica reporting on the high costs related to preserving vulnerable beaches:
And for a closer look at the “feedback loop,” read a report on how researchers determined the link between nourishments and development along the coast: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016EF000425
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