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Sea vs. sand balancing act just got harder (via Miami Herald)

June 30 2009 | Beach fill, Jim's Blog,
by Jim

Steve Higgins' job is to create the illusion of permanence along an impermanent stretch of shoreline.

Nature engineered beaches to shape shift with the wind and waves. Higgins, Broward County's beach erosion administrator, does what he can to keep an undulating strand from wiggling out from beneath the hotels, condo towers, parks and mansions.

It was a mistake, of course, that long ago decision to erect Florida's most expensive permanent structures along unstable stretches of migrating sand. But it's a little late now for urban South Florida to rethink land-use policies on the barrier islands. So Higgins engages in a perpetual struggle to replenish sand and persuade beaches to stay put.

Pumping sand ain't the half of it. It's become about finding money -- the feds have become increasingly stingy with beach renourishment projects.

It's about finding sand -- suitable caches of clean, lightly hued, post-card ready sand. Most of the deposits close to shore have been either sucked up by previous projects or deemed too environmentally sensitive to disturb. more
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