Thursday, January 04, 2007

No Beach Left

Lori walks north of White Sand Street by the Tiki

How wide is the beach where you stay on the Island, and hundred yards wide or more? It sure is a pain the have to drag all that stuff out to the beach, isn't it?

Well consider the northern shores of our Town, where there ain't no beach at all. The photograph shows maybe 5-10 yards of beach and at that time the tide was still coming in; at full high tide Lori would be underwater and the waves right up to the man-made dunes.

This can also be viewed as the beginnings of a "continuous dune line" which is equally as disturbing. The trucked and piled sand by the north part of the island beaches is a drastic, temporary measure that will not last. All that can be done is to hope that a big storm will not wipe it all away and undercut the bulkheads and foundations, as it was doing a few months ago.

What was needed was hundred thousand of cubic yards of sand on the beach so as to extend the beach outward into the Gulf. If you notice, the last few beach renourishment projects have stopped by Inverness, since they couldn't pump more sand to the north. Thus the area between Inverness and the Shores could literally fall into the sea in a matter of a few years.

I never did understand the Island's beach renourishment program, since it put sand on beaches that did not need it. Beaches south of Oleander Street are actually gaining sand and don't need the dredge. The area where I took todays picture on the northside is losing about two feet of beach a year due to coastal erosion.

Folks this is a true disaster in the making and it is happening right here and right now. Imagine my wife in the same exact spot next year, but two feet lower - now you get the picture. Throw in a few bad storms and some Global Warming and this scenario is not looking good. It could cut the Island right in half right there.

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As a postscript, I continued to notice that the sand at the end of White Sands Street was in fact black. Black sand is more common up by Corpus Christi but we have tons of it right at the end of this street. I will grab some samples to see if it is iron, which would be attracted to a magnet, or something else like carbon. /SW

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