Beach Nourishment - Beach Replenishment - is the process of dumping or pumping sand from elsewhere onto an eroding shoreline to create a new beach, restore, or to widen the existing beach. Advocates of such actions argue that pertaining to the fiscal, social, environmental, and societal reverberations of beach replenishment, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs; as although it only poses as a temporary fix and does not stop erosion, it is the most effective, economically viable, and environmentally sound method of storm protection.

The Replenishment Plan- More commonly known as "beach nourishment," is a plan developed to "prolong" the process of erosion, which you can learn more about in Introduction to Coastal Erosion . Beach Replenishment, or "Dredging," is the act of dumping or pumping sand from elsewhere to beaches that have been damaged by erosion. THIS DOES NOT STOP EROSION, it just gives it something else to decay.


  1. Provides protection for structures behind the beach (e.g. Houses, Hotels, etc.)
  2. Dredging lets a beach have a longer life, and it widens it, creating a larger beach.
  3. Some Ecological Advantages
  4. In some areas it restores the economy (especially when that specific society relies on their coastal tourism)


  1. Cost. Beach nourishment projects are federally, state, locally, or privately funded (they’re often funded by a combination of sources). Replenishing Beaches is VERY expensive, the minimal cost is around $1-2 Million dollars, but for large beaches it can even cost $100-200 Million dollars. Between merely 2000 to 2002 $413.2 million was spent in appropriations allocated to beach nourishment projects in various states such as: Delaware, Florida, Maryland New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Plus Dredging is not permanent, in order to preserve the beach this process must be repeated.
  2. Dredging can also be harmful to Marine Life near the beach.
  3. The added sand actually erodes 2-3 times faster than the natural sand
  4. Not always consistent types of sand particles (various types of marine life, etc.)

Advocates of Beach Replenishment (i.e. Beach Nourishment) argue that although it isn't a perfect solution, and is a somewhat incessant and expensive project; with the technology attained in today's world, it is not only viable solution, but it is the bestsolution as it provides recreational beaches, shore protection, wildlife habitat, aesthetic value, societal rejuvenation/economic revitalization, and restoration of various coastal heritage. If nothing is done to impede this pressing issue of erosion, the situation will worsen until there is no longer anything to save.

Examples of Areas that are part of the Replenishment Plan: New Jersey , Florida

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Photo Taken By: David Hunsinger for the New York Time