The problems with rebuilding beaches

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  • Published on:  Friday, December 7, 2018
  • Beach nourishment is the latest chapter in a never-ending tale of erosion.

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    About 80 to 90 percent of sandy beaches along America's coastlines are eroding. This is a problem because the developments humans build near them are static. So as beaches shrink, coastal hazards can threaten to damage or destroy homes and businesses while negatively impacting tourism that depends on the beach.

    The most popular strategy to counter these risks is a process called beach nourishment. Coastal engineers will add new sand to an eroding beach in order to rebuild or expand the shoreline.
    Watch the video above to learn more about how beach nourishments can help defend the coast but are problematic as a long-term solution.

    For more, here are the links to our sources for this video:
    Randall Parkinson on beach nourishment and climate change mitigation:
    ProPublica reporting on the high costs related to preserving vulnerable beaches:

    And for a closer look at the “feedback loop,” read a report on how researchers determined the link between nourishments and development along the coast: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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  • Vox


     9 months ago +474

    Beaches aren't the only area where economic disparities are hurting communities. Check out our video on how "levee wars" are making flooding worse:

  • Jack Skoskiewicz

    Jack Skoskiewicz

     22 hours ago

    Wish, what’s goin on with New Jersey and nourishment?

  • Gina Delgado

    Gina Delgado

     2 days ago

    Don’t like beaches so none of my business

  • Sammy Florczak

    Sammy Florczak

     2 days ago

    There are heaps of cases where humans are to blame for enhanced erosion. A big one is the construction of coastal structures such as breakwaters and seawalls can lead to changes in coastal sediment transport pathways, resulting in accelerated erosion. Also, the removal of native coastal vegetation.

  • Giel


     2 days ago

    The netherlands enters the chat

  • NikonChic 954

    NikonChic 954

     3 days ago

    Wth!!! 0:21

  • Gleb Pashenko

    Gleb Pashenko

     4 days ago

    The border should be shared proportionally to the environmental damage. This at least would give some incentive to the neighboring countries

  • John Goodman

    John Goodman

     5 days ago

    So all this time America beaches are l like a women wearing wig, but the beach comes off with erosion.

  • Hector Lalalala

    Hector Lalalala

     5 days ago

    Hurricanes are a serious problem for Florida

  • Andrew Zhang

    Andrew Zhang

     6 days ago +1

    Ha jokes on you, Australia is made with beaches

  • Octavio


     6 days ago

    This is how Dubai and Abu Dhabi were built.

  • Victor M.

    Victor M.

     7 days ago +1

    It's ok, global warming will wipe out all beaches

  • Lazy Mochi

    Lazy Mochi

     7 days ago

    I don’t see what’s so bad about nourishment. We have to do it. They’re is no other option

  • Patricia Handa

    Patricia Handa

     7 days ago

    Try taking away Americans short-term profits. Just try it. Then go get a job at Walmart, if you survive.

  • Gaby Markandu

    Gaby Markandu

     7 days ago +1

    The Dutch are laughing

  • Valentin Islas

    Valentin Islas

     7 days ago

    The ocean shall claim what is hers...

  • adam bosak

    adam bosak

     7 days ago

    the problem with building beaches is to many rich ppl what to live there. so there is no problem building beaches as we still have them so where is the problem...

  • 10,000 Subscribers with no videos?!?!

    10,000 Subscribers with no videos?!?!

     7 days ago

    just build a sky base lol

  • tea time commenter

    tea time commenter

     14 days ago

    these people arent that smart
    why live on the coastal islands those are our walls from the ocean
    the coastal islands are the things that save us so much money because our mainland is protected
    that is the amazing thing about the United States we save tons of money that other countries need to spend to fix their coastlines
    its only in a few places that there aren't the mini islands like half a mile from our coast

  • Rogelio


     14 days ago

    If they make so much money from tourism why don't they pay for nourishment themselves and the fed fund the poorer areas?