The geotextile bags have been proven NOT to work as artificial reef material. They're prone to rupture, and do little to create habitat. Another temporary solution with mixed results.
Most of these projects fail because they're implemented without enough research going into the design of the project. You can't just plop down a "reef" and think it's going to give you all the benefits intended. You have to have solid data and sound engineering to give it even a CHANCE of providing long-term, cost effective benefits that include the three major purposes - shoreline stabilization, creating habitat, and preserving recreational resources.
To achieve this, you need to engineer a complete reef system so that the whole becomes greater than the sum of it's parts. Underwater structures interact with each other. Currents move sand. Change currents, and you change the movement of sand. Reef systems have to be engineered in a site-specific way so the various components of the system (fringe and patch reefs, jetties, breakwaters, etc.) interact with each other. Their orientation, length, height, depth... all based on dominant wave size and direction, current direction and speed, tidal range, offshore and nearshore bathymetry, dominant wind speed and direction, and other variables.
Those who know, know the answer is a combination of beach replenishment and hard structures. There's no easy, quick, cheap fix. It will require an investment of time, energy, money, and intellect.
Beach replenishment destroys surf breaks, plain and simple.
They will probably try to rip out or notch your jetties too.
After they come through with the sand pumping don't even bother for at least a year.
Eventually the break will come back, but they are really never the same. Kind of like zombies.
Right when it gets good again, they will pump again.
Endless cycle of misery and disappointment for the surfer affected.
I hope you're wrong, Stinkbug. They have been doing this every three years for I don't know how many cycles. This will be the first one I will see/surf through. Nobody seemed to be really worried except a few fisherman who use the pier for king fish. They say the new sand kills the sand fleas--suffocates them-- which makes sense, but I'm not a biologist. Again, it changed a lot over the last two years with all the storm surges and the one small hurricane last year that was pretty much a direct hit. I'll let you know after Easter, If there is a swell then. Stuck at work till then.
Originally Posted by stinkbug
changed for the worse, no? that's my impression...
Originally Posted by CBSCREWBY
I definitely agree. The majority of CB spots have gone downhill in the last couple years in my opinion. In 2010, right after replenishment there was a surfable wave just about everyday all summer, regardless of tide. Lately, in the past year or so it seems to only really break closer to low tide. High tide is basically unsurfable most days in many spots, even during the more powerful winter swells. Obviously, some spots still break, but as a whole I think there is a lot less punch than there was.
Originally Posted by hanna
The way the sand is set up, with a short sandbar outside then an area of deep water before the beach isn't good in most spots. I think the replenishment will help CB. More sand, less deep spots, should give the waves some more punch like I remember from a few years back I hope.
Agree 100% Unfortunately,the entire way this county approaches shoreline management is completely stacked against comprehensive long term solutions. The Corps of Engineers are the primary agency responsible for large scale shore protection and they are prohibited from even considering recreational benefits in their benefit cost alternatives. Their mission is property protection and storm damage reduction to buildings is the only benefit they factor in the benefit cost analyses used to select project alternatives and justify expenditures. Walls protect buildings, so we get walls (they may be walls of rock, concrete or sand, but they are walls, not systems)
Originally Posted by LBCrew
Surfing amenities, fishing, all recreational beneftits are not included in the B/C so the odds are stacked against any alternatives that increase overall project costs to provide these benefits, no matter how sensible they are.
Also, the Corps' budget for these projects are completely appropriation - driven (project by project). Long range planning and research for alternative or comprehensive approaches is buried WAY down in the bnudgeting process. Congress's four year election cycles means they want to fund it, build it, and see benefits from it ALL within these short election cycles. Completely tilts the scales towards building the simplest and quickest projects that are IMMEDIATELY VISIBLE to voters. Lets see, which is more immediately visible to the average voter - a sandy beach that is suddenly three times as wide as it was last summer or a series of groins, offshore reefs and strategic beachfills that create a balanced long term improvement to the beach and offshore system?
Mitchell... I fear you are right. I also fear that one day we'll look back and see how foolish we were... that we knew the answer, but didn't have the courage to follow through. Just like I believe one day we'll look back and see how foolish we were burning petroleum for energy, when we know there's better alternatives. Petroleum should be used to make products... not burned up into nothingness. If we stopped burning petroleum for energy, we'd have enough to last us as far into the future as we can imagine. But we don't have the courage to make the tough call, and do the right thing. Shoreline stabilization is the same in that respect. It's a tough call. But we should be embarrassed... ashamed of ourselves... for deliberately doing the wrong thing, and doing it over and over and over again, all the while knowing we're wrong.
Why can't we be the leaders? Why can't we set the standard by which all other nations are measured... an example of how to do it right? Why wait? It's only a matter of time. Why not stay ahead of the rest of the world? This country was founded on visionaries... brave and independent free thinkers. Where are they today?
Sorry to say those visionaries are long gone. Thanks to a bullsxxt 2 party system that does nothing but bicker. Neither side has the courage to propose let alone follow through with a real solution.
Originally Posted by LBCrew
AHHHH!!!!! You sir, have pointed out the true weakness. The root of all evil lies in history when we began to build directly on barrier islands (i.e. OBX). All barrier islands erode and deposit somewhere else. THEY ARE OUR TRUE EROSION PROTECTION. Nowadays, building on barrier islands is established and that was a huge mistake. The problem is Captain Hindsight never solved any problems. Definitely should've followed the precautionary principle with that one.
Originally Posted by mitchell
Good points, sorry I missed this thread.
However, beach renourishment down here in SENC is not as large in scope as they do in the Northeast. Most of our renourishment is a byproduct of inlet dredging, they don't put the sand in the same place every time.
Current dredging projects in SENC:
-New Topsail inlet: Dredged out at least 2 times every year, but usually many more than that. The CG moves the channel buoys almost weekly because the inlet moves so much. Most of the time they put the sand on the S. end of Topsail but they also will just put the sand on one of the ICW spoil islands.
-Mason's Inlet: Dredged out every two years no to maintain a navigable channel but to maintain the current position of the inlet. Right now they are pumping the sand on the S. end of Figure 8, but sometimes they will just put it on a spoil island.
-Masonboro Inlet & ICW intersection: Every other year or so, they do a survey twice a year to keep an eye on shoaling. No dredging going on right now, but they usually pump the sand onto WB and it usually doesn't amount to anything more than a small addition to the beach.
-CB Inlet: Like New Topsail Inlet, it gets dredged at least twice a year and the CG moves the channel markers on a weekly basis. This year they are doing a major dredging, so they are putting the sand on the N. end of CB. Fun fact: CB Inlet is man-made, there was never an inlet there until they made Snow's Cut to connect the ICW to the Cape Fear River and they realized they needed to put in an inlet to handle all the extra water moving through. There were some very long-lasting effects I will get into in a minute.
-Kure Beach: They haven't renourished KB in a long time, so they are doing something in scope closer to what folks in the NE see--lots of new beach. They started renourishing from just North of The Riggings and I'm not too sure how far North they are going. This one is rubbing me the wrong way because I fear it will ruin one, maybe two of our classic breaks down there--but we'll have to wait and see. This is also a different kind of dredging: They are using a "Hopper" dredge that sucks up sand deposits from a little over 1 mile offshore of Masonboro, brings it over to a pump "station" about 300 yards offshore then pumps it to the beach--kinda cool to watch.
Now, for the effects. Keep in mind the sand eventually moves South in our area (littoral drift I believe it's called):
-Surf: Usually minimal and actually improves many of the standard beach breaks. What RobG mentioned with the deep sloughs and then shallow sandbars are how our beaches are under "normal" conditions. Renourishment pushes the beach farther into deeper water, so the waves break with more punch because they aren't dragging on the bottom so much before breaking. As I said, KB is going to be an experiment worth observing because it's been so long since the last time they renourished it. I still think it's going to ruin a couple great spots South of there, though.
-Fishing: It ruins surf and nearshore fishing for at least a year... period. They are burying the normal shoreline ecology underneath tons of sand... it's horrible. Not to mention whatever they are destroying while they are dredging. Now is the time to go look for Megaladon teeth, though.
-Other Inlets/Wetlands: People who haven't been around here for more than a decade don't realize we have lost a couple smaller inlets in SENC as a direct result of renourishment. This has hurt some vital wetlands in our area because they don't flush like they should with the tide. They are still healthy.... just not as healthy as they could be or were historically. Here they are:
-John's Creek: Most people don't know that Masonboro used to be two different islands separated by this small inlet on the Southern portion of the island. Those who have kayaked to Mase from the Trails End boat ramp know where it used to be--thinnest part of the island back in those thousands of acres of marsh flats. This inlet filled in as a result of the jetties being constructed on Masonboro inlet back in the day--before my time, based on my grandfather and father's accounts.
-Corncake Inlet: This is the inlet that used to separate the South end of Ft. Fisher from Bald Head Island. It used to be connected to the large marsh flats behind that area known as "Buzzard's Bay." The water quality in BB has taken a pretty serious hit since the inlet filled in: sometime in the early 2000's. My dad and I used to surf fish that place on the regular, really sad to see it go. It eventually filled in due to increased renourishment efforts on CB and KB, addition of a second cove at Ft. Fisher and stabilization/renourishment efforts on Bald Head. Doesn't matter now, though: you can't even get there anymore unless you feel like walking for miles through a nature preserve. Andrewk would love this: They created a nature preserve on land that didn't used to exist and only exists because of human engineering but now they won't let you in the area unless you are below the high tide mark... or unless you are a park ranger driving around in your 4x4 truck as fast as you can murdering "invasive species" that are only there as a result of engineering in the first place... it's a freaking anti-access environmentalist's dream.... but I digress.
Anyway, that's my observation of it. We need to get a good swell again to see what it actually does anyway....