Beach Nourishment

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Beach nourishment is where loose material is placed on a beach, to augment sediment supplied by other sources such as streams and eroding bluffs. Nourishment may be used to restore a target beach profile, change beach texture, or replace lost sediment supply, and may occur at very small or very large scales. Beach nourishment may aim to restore a particular beach ecology, reduce erosion of adjacent shorelines, or create recreational amenities for shoreline landowners. Beach nourishment may be accompanied by drift log placement or various erosion or grade-control features. Nourishment may affect Beach Shellfish Production, Beach Forage Fish Spawning, and Beach Food Webs and Biodiversity. Because of the diversity of settings, purposes, and effects, beach nourishment is not inherently a restoration action and should be evaluated in context.


  • As part of a science sprint, Lambert & Chamberlin 2023 provides a synthesis of our current knowledge of the effectiveness of beach nourishment in modifying beach structure, and changing ecological function, particularly in the context of beach nourishment as a mitigation measure to offset the effects of shoreline armoring. These authors provide the following qualified assessments:
    • "Beach nourishment is an effective restoration strategy when included in a suite of tools."
    • "Effectiveness of beach nourishment actions is sensitive to the volume of sediment placed."
    • "Ecological benefits of beach nourishment are largely inconsistent and remain generally unknown; further directed research activities are warranted."
    • "Project design requirements for beach nourishment should include better accounting of sediment loss due to natural processes."
    • "Cost/benefit of beach nourishment may warrant alternative strategies"

Documents Using the "Beach Nourishment" Category[edit]