desert sand is generally of a much finer grain than beach sand...think talcum power istead of ground coffee. it tends to not only blow away easier, but wash away easier as well. if you trucked desert sand onto a nj beach in the fall, it would be gone 10x faster than sand pumped from offshore shoals & banks.
at least in pumping from local areas, the sand is (kind of) similar to the stuff that's already on the beach.
beach replenishment is nothing more than modern man's latest attempt at controlling nature. if you look back before the 1950's or '60s, nothing on a barrier island was "permanent". it could be moved at any time if imperiled by the sea. that the beaches washed away in storms was an understood fact of life. after it's move, the cape hatteras lighthouse is now the exact same distance from the ocean as it was at the time it was built. NOTHING was built ocean-front. it was, & remains, foolish to do so.
like the moon does over the course of 4 weeks, the beaches wax & wane as the year cycles thru the seasons. winter means smaller, steeper beaches as the storms pummel the shore & wash sand offshore to the sand bars. summer time means wider, more gently sloped beaches as the smaller waves deposit sand upon the shore & build the beaches back up.
it is a cycle, just like the water cycle, but tourism boards & beach-front property owners aren't interested in that. beach replenishment is a product of the pursuit of the almighty tourist dollar. screw the natural order of things, screw the sand worms, mole crabs, & mollusks that aren't cute & cuddly like dolphins. we want MONEY!!!!! & big beaches=lots & lots of money.
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Jan 31, 2010, 10:41 PM #11