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beach erosion

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:38 am
by skipper
For about 2 years now I have been watching our beach steadily erode away, and every time I mentioned it, the reaction seemed to almost be denial. Knowing how long it took to get a permit from the Corps of Engineers last time, I commented a couple of times that we need to get started, and that again, was 2 years ago. And, now, the water is lapping at the walkover steps at Belle Mer and Navarre Towers.

So, now the story is that we're working on getting permission to reconstruct the beach, but that takes a long time to get.

Hurricane season is about to be on us. Do we sit on the dunes?

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:16 pm
by jacobspa
I agree, the powers that be must get started right away and get a plan and carry though with it. Over the last wek or two I have watched over 50 feet of beach dissapear near the Regency condo.

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:59 pm
by gailjean
i am here now and was surprised at how much the beach has eroded, especially in front of the regency! :(

Beach Erosion

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:46 pm
by PensacolaKid
And they can do it again and again and again and no doubt, probably will and it will turn out the same way, eventually. Man is not going to stop what nature and specifically, water wants to do!

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:12 pm
by LilFeat
Re: The Regency. How bad is bad? I can't tell from the zoom cam. We'll be staying there soon. As long as there is enough room for a couple of chairs, an umbrella and a cooler, I'm good.

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:12 pm
by skipper
I wonder if it had anything to do with compaction of the sand, or lack of, when the restoration took place. The natural beach lasted a long time. I first started coming to Navarre Beach in 1978, and the beach didn't change much until Ivan. I have to assume it was there a long time before 1978.

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:18 pm
by EastBayBabe
skipper - I mentioned the same thing re: compacting the sand when it was restored. I'm a far stretch from an engineer, but I would think that if after the sand was blown onto the beach, a very heavy roller vehicle of some kind could have gone back and forth to compact it. Of course, with the sand being so fine, it would have to be something that would not get stuck or mired down into the sand.

Like P'kid said .... Man is not going to stop what nature and water wants to do. I'll add: Without some help.

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:30 pm
by gailjean
LilFeat wrote:Re: The Regency. How bad is bad? I can't tell from the zoom cam. We'll be staying there soon. As long as there is enough room for a couple of chairs, an umbrella and a cooler, I'm good.
it's pretty bad, lilfeat. enough room, tho unless you have to share it with alot of people. we've been trying to figure out where they will put all the beach chairs come busy season.

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:28 pm
by kcblond
It was bad at the Regency last Oct. You could get out on the sand from the walk over but to get to the water you had to find a way down a 6ft embankment . I tried to climb down once but couldnt get back up and had to walk a long way down the beach to climb back up. I was hoping maybe some of that had evened out but it does not sound like it .

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:59 am
by LilFeat
Thanks gailjean and kcblond. We leave NB on May 23 so we will be exiting when the bigger crowds arrive, or at least that's my understanding.

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:24 am
by skipper
I guess the thing that bothers me so about this is that I saw it coming. I talked about it, and nobody seemed to care. You don't lose 150 ft. of beach overnight, and when Peter Ravella was asked about it, the response was that it was supposed to do that to form shallow water out there to break up waves. Also, I remember hearing that the restoration would supposedly last 8 years and then we would have to redo it. Well, it's barely been 3 years. Part of the defense is that the storm surge from Ike and Gustav were equivalent to a cat 1. I doubt that.

As I watched the 150 ft. of beach dissapear, I thought about how it took actions by Governor Bush, (while he had an advocate in the white house, who just happened to be the commander in chief over the U.S. Army, which still includes the Corps of Engineers), to get the permit for the last restoration. The whole thing took about 8 years to get the permit, and remember it was that difficult while at the same time homes were literally falling into the gulf. I said then, if it takes 8 years to get a permit, we had better start now. No one seemed to pay any attention to that either. And then, don't forget the 3 times the restoration was stopped because a turtle got killed. After all, turtles are more important than people's homes. And, it was reported that the Corps of Engineers had been the biggest offender with all the turtles they killed on their own project.

We saw the west end berm wash away with Ike. A real storm could take it all, and hurricane season starts in 2 months.

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:00 am
by David
Not to say that the beach rejuvination has not had a little something to do with the shape of the beach but mother nature shapes it to her liking continually.

Remember we now have a berm that is intact except at the very west end and it wasn't there before the rejuvination and that berm and the beach sand was all pumped out wet which would cause it to pack the same as the damp sand packs when we build sand castles but becomes easily eroded by the wind as it dries, the reason for vegitation being planted on the berm. In fact, I understand the experts to say that the beach sand behaves better if it is loosened from a packed state which was done after the rejuvination as part of same.

The berm takes up a good amount of space (width) that you used to see as beach and it has built up (caused by wind and storm) on the south side since it being put there, even though there are a few places where it hasn't as much as others.

The berm also has changed the wind erosion and shaping as we used to see it because it blocks those north winds just as the buildings block the winds and cause different shapes to the south of them. I'm sure every one notices the sand build up on Gulf Blvd. when the wind is from the south, especially at the places not blocked by buildings. That sand goes south when the wind blows from the north.

Those drop offs (cliffs) that you see are caused by wind and water and will be there today and gone tomorrow. The wind from the north builds the dry "unpacked" sand toward the water, then comes a strong south wind causing waves to lap at that soft "unpacked" sand causing a drop off or cliff. The wind and water continue to build and take away sand. The beach will be scalloped one week then straighten the next, wider one week, then narrrower the next. We notice it more, now, since the berm changes the perception.

There was a realy deep "cliff" at the public beach area a couple of days ago that I'll bet ya few bucks will not be there but for a short period according to mother nature's desire just as ones up and down the beach are not there now but others built in their place. Because of the Gulf and it's bottom shape, etc. that causes differences in the wave strength and action mother nature will reclaim some of the same holes and beach shapes over and over again. Then that strength and action changes over time and the holes and bars change as well.

Think of it this way, if not for our prevailing S.E. winds we would not have the beautiful white sands that we have reguardless of the shape it takes. The sand is 90+% quartz that is not indiginous to the area and geologist tell us it came from inland. over the centuries, flowing from the Apalachicola River system, then flowing to the east. That white sand we have is only found from the mouth area of the Apalachicola continuing east to just past the Perdido/Gulf Shores area.

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:38 am
by badapple
we were in navarre in september of 2007, and will be returning in september of 2009. can anyone tell me if the beach is much worse condition then it was then?

thanks, and cannot wait to get back down.

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:59 pm
by beachgirl
When the water is calm, there is enough beach to put a few rows of beach chairs behind the Regency. When the waves are rough, they squeeze in a row of beach chairs. There are some areas like behind the Pearl and Caribbean where you can see a shallow area in the water where the sand is beginning to collect.

Also, after the big storms last year, the entire beach lost some beach. At the same time, it dumped a bunch of sand on the berm and raised it up about 2 or 3 feet. The berm held in most of the areas on the beach. The west end lost their berm because waves washed it away from the National Seashore where there was no berm. Also, some of the berm on the west end was cut away by the strong waves. This is why the last walkover is closed.

Yes, we need to address whether or not we should pull more sand up on the beach. I don't see it happening fast. Last time it took years. The beach home owners are still paying for that. If it is done again, the rest of the county may be asked to chip in on the bill.

If you are coming down to enjoy the beach, there is still beach left to enjoy.

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:23 pm
by kcblond
Are you saying the dropoff at the end of the walkway of the Regency is now level to the wate?? I only care because after months of research, I found the only walkway over the berm that was level for use of a wheelchair was at the Regency. We booked a beautifue condo there last fall and were so disappointed to find the walkway worked great to the sand but we could not get the beachwheel chair down to the water. I struggled for 5 days with that problem,, finally used the public beach east of the pier . I know nature does what it needs to but I was just trying to find a good option for us and was so disappointed that the beach had changed so much.