Jay V. Hall, Jr.


Construction, improvement and maintenance of beaches through the artificial deposition of sand on the shore is rapidly gaining prominence in the field of shore protection engineering. The trend toward this type of shore improvement has resulted from our changing economy, modes of transportation and recreational habits. As our mode of transportation improved and people had more time for recreation, beach resorts developed and grew to proportions typified by Atlantic City, N. J. Numerous factors control the growth of a resort of this size but undoubtedly all will agree that it is the beach which is the resorts' primary asset. This fact was recognized very early in resort development and every effort was made to preserve the beaches from the ravages of the sea. Unfortunately the science of shore protection lagged behind resort development and beaches soon became covered with a maze of structures which discouraged rather than encouraged their use. At this point something had to be done to restore the beaches to their original attractiveness. The obvious means for this improvement was to eliminate all structures as far as possible and to replace the beach material which had been removed. Was it possible that such plans could succeed? Careful study convinced a number of engineers that beach restoration employing artificial nourishment had possibilities and in some instances might be the most economical as well as best method of improvement. More importantly, there has developed a growing recognition of the fact that preventing erosion by means of protective structures is a dangerous practice, in the sense that in many cases such protection is secured at the expense of producing an ever expanding problem area. Artificial nourishment, on the other hand, benefits not only the shore upon which it is placed but adjoining shores as well. The economic merit of this type of treatment has often been difficult to evaluate because of uncertainties in prospective maintenance cost and in determination of the extent of shore which would be benefited. It is needless to say here that although the method has been employed without a complete understanding of all the factors controlling an ideal installation the results have been gratifying.


beach nourishment design; beach nourishment history; beach construction methods

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