Florida Seeks To Purchase Sand To Replenish Eroding Beaches From Hurricane Irma
By The Weather Channel // November 5, 2017
FLORIDA (THE WEATHER CHANNEL) – Beaches in Florida lost hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sand from Hurricane Irma in September, and officials in the state are hoping to purchase sand from the Bahamas to help replenish them.
There’s a problem, however: it’s illegal to purchase sand from foreign countries, thanks to a 1986 environmental law that says the Army Corps must prove domestic sand is unavailable for economic or environmental reasons before it can turn to foreign sand, according to the New York Times.
Storms and powerful tides are blamed in part for the diminishing beaches, but they’re not the only cause of the erosion. Inadequate beach maintenance and unchecked coastal development are also powerful contributors to the growing problem.
Sand is running out on beaches in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Dredging there is no longer possible because of a narrow continental shelf. The sand has become too deep for dredgers to reach, and the coral reefs on the shelf are environmentally protected.
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