Image by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region An aerial photo of Mantoloking, New Jersey, show a breach in coastal strip after Hurricane Sandy.
Beach erosion is a costly business.
Even though Hurricane Sandy only had paltry effects on the Lowcountry the storm's damage is estimated to be near $3 million in erosion on Folly Beach alone.
In the North the damages are far more extreme and it's amplifying a discussion about the limits of beach nourishment. In many areas offshore sand deposits used to replenish beaches are being used up and relative water levels continue to climb.
The New York Times offers a report focuses on the situation in New Jersey, in part:
Since 1985 80 million cubic yards of sand had been applied on 54 of the state's 97 miles of developed coastline: a truckload of sand for every foot of beach. ... Towns in New York and Delaware also often find themselves on the hunt for sand. Elsewhere in the country, towns feud over who is entitled to offshore sand. Towns in Florida have gone to court over the issue.
It's a worthy read about the challenges, limitations, and upsides of engineered beach making; take a read here.