Celebrities Buying Sand to Refill Private Beach
Residents of Broad Beach, in Malibu, California, have proposed a $20 million plan to reshape the area by dredging 600,000 cubic yards of sand from one of several “borrow” sites at the bottom of the ocean. Homeowners include well-known celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Michael Ovitz, Dustin Hoffman and Ray Romano.
Opponents of the plan believe that the residents are only trying to benefit themselves, and taking none of the ecological factors into consideration. Environmentalists, for example, are concerned that the sand could affect life in the tide pools at the northwest end of the beach. Critics also believe that in an era of global warming and rising sea levels, artificial restoration of the beach is futile, because a strong storm like El Niño has the potential to undo the entire project.
Hurricane Causes Extensive Damage
Town leaders of Palm Beach, Florida, say that damages from Hurricane Sandy will cost $6 million to repair.
Winds and waves brought on by Sandy caused severe erosion throughout the Palm Beach coast. Town managers say that damages caused by the storm include the sea wall at a beach club, and another sea wall in front of a home. Town leaders are waiting to see if they will receive federal aid before any repairs begin.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must make a federal disaster declaration before they can grant aid money.
The Slot Method
Erosion and flooding in the Rabbit River, southwest of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, has led officials to research an impoundment project to prevent these issues.
Water Conservation District (WCD) Commissioner Andy Lindquist explained that the Army Corps of Engineers is planning to try the “slot method.”
The measure involves cutting a slot through cattails, and tamping down the grass. It’s very similar to what was historically done by farmers and ranchers when cattle grazed near the river. According to WCD District Manager Brad Mergens, the impoundment is estimated to cost $4,000 per acre for the 16,000-acre area.
Erosion Control Fines
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Holen recently announced that his office has obtained a $5,000 judgment against two Portage County landowners who violated erosion control measures. In 2010, Van Hollen’s office filed a civil action suit against Lexton Properties LLC and HH Condos LLC, two Stevens Point-based companies.
Both businesses allegedly failed to implement and maintain erosion control practices on their properties, which is a violation of state law. Under the order’s terms, the defendants must pay $5,000 in penalties, forfeitures and fees. The defendants have since corrected all of the environmental problems that were listed in the complaint.
Beach Re-Nourishment Plan
The town board in Southampton, New York, has approved a beach renourishment project that will cost $26 million. The project will widen beaches that experienced heavy erosion from superstorm Sandy by dredging 2.5 million tons of sand from two dredging windows offshore.
The re-nourishment project will be largely funded by residents in the erosion control districts. In addition to their tax dollars, residents in the district have also agreed to cover $1.5 million of the town’s portion of the cost. The project is expected to add 60 to 70 feet of beachfront.
Demolition Mishap Leaves Concrete Panel in River
While preparing to demolish the Riverwalk Hotel, a demolition crew from the Adamo Group, Jackson, Michigan, dropped a concrete panel that fell into the Grand River. Department of Environmental Quality District Supervisor Jon Russel said that because the soil was not expected to be disturbed, no special environmental permits were required for the demolition project.
According to Jackson County Deputy Administrator Adam Brown, demolition crews took canoes and kayaks down the river to see if anything else escaped the barricade. A high-lift crane was also used to tear down the remaining portion of the concrete panel.