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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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The beach is getting its much needed dose of sand courtesy of the San Pedro Town Council. This is part of our beach nourishment demonstration. The process is a bit more complex that just dumping sand on the beach, but we will be sharing information about the technical details in follow-up posts.

We remind the public that this stretch of beach remains closed to vehicular traffic and we ask beach goers to respect the signs in place. It is important to allow nature to do its part now.

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SPTC initiates demonstration project to restore severely eroded beaches

The time to start saving the beaches in downtown San Pedro is now. On Thursday, October 20th, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) began a beach restoration demonstration project at a section in Boca del Rio. The area in front of the San Pedro High School has severely eroded, and access to this short stretch of beach will remain closed to vehicular traffic. The public is asked to respect the signage erected. The results of this project will determine the next step aimed at a long-term solution and saving the beach. The SPTC and the experts behind the project have indicated that the process is complex and will take some time before results can be observed. The works at this stretch of beach are being done to allow nature to do its part and trigger a natural expansion of the beach.

The first step is to dump sand on the targeted beach area. The sand being used has been carefully selected to match that of the said beach portion and collected without altering the environment. Once the sand is placed on the beach, the next step is to observe and understand how the shoreline's sediments move and where they go. The ideal beach reclamation project will see the creation of beach areas along the coastline, eliminating any obstacles that can disturb the movement of sediments. One person involved in the project is local scientist Valentine Rosado. He said this method would further inform the team of experts monitoring the erosion process of the beach and if the same technique can be applied to other areas of the shoreline. He emphasized that it is not a quick fix, but initial works are expected to provide the missing pieces of the puzzle to address the alarming threat to the island's beaches. The grand spectrum of the project is to successfully rehabilitate the beach from the Boca del Rio beach park to the Sunbreeze Hotel, a bit over a mile in length.

The SPTC and their team are optimistic about this approach to restoring significant portions of beaches that have been lost. Over the past years, the improper management of the shoreline, particularly along the downtown area, has seen the sea eating away the beaches. Coconut trees are collapsing on the water's edge, and beach areas like Boca del Rio have narrowed significantly. Some of the culprits have been identified as the inadequate building of seawalls, docks and climate change. The SPTC is financing this first test in the Boca del Rio area. To complete the project, the local administration looks forward to getting support from the Green Climate Fund and partnering with stakeholders operating on the said beach strip.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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From the Town Council:

Beach Nourishment Demo: the biggest question we are getting about this initiative is: Why are you putting sand on the beach (it will just wash away)? The simple answer is that a beach is made of sand. The only way to restore the natural beauty of the beach is by adding sand to compensate for what has been lost over the years. This brings us to our first technical term: SAND BUDGETS.

Scientists keep track of changes in the sand volume of a beach by the use of sand budgets. These are estimates of the principal source of sand (credits), and where it loses sand (debits). This is similar to our personal bank account, salary goes in (credits), and we then use it to pay our monthly bills (debits). In the case of a beach, if more sand is lost every year, compared to the sand coming in, then the beach erodes and becomes narrow. When more sand comes in, compared to what is lost, it results in deposition and widening of the beach.

Where does the sand come from? Where does it go?

Currents along the shoreline shift sand from one stretch of beach to another stretch of beach (north to south). Offshore transport may also take place, that's when sand moves towards the seagrass beds that line our coastline (onshore transport is when that sand moves back towards the beach).

So, what is the objective here?

The idea is to begin to understand how to achieve a steady-state condition (at minimum). We want the sand coming to the beach equal the sand that is lost. This month's beach nourishment is giving the beach a surplus of supply to make up for all that has been lost over the years.

What is the alternative?

We keep hearing about these alternative solutions to sand nourishment. But, it just takes a walk down the beach to realize that sand is the way to go. A shoreline hardened by limestone, jagged rocks, construction debris or lined with seawall is not as pleasing as a natural sandy beach.

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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Taking sand to the beach! An influx of 160 cubic yards has been deposited. It is only 10% of the sand budget required to restore this stretch of beach but progress takes time. We ask everyone to respect the signage and allow the sand to naturally settle, as it becomes part of the beach profile. The next phase includes island vegetation that plays a key role in stabilizing the beach.

Please assist us by reporting illegal vehicular traffic that disrupt the settling process OR theft of the beach sand.

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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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LOVE FM posted this photo of the reclaimed beach by the high schoo after Hurricane Lisa.

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