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Beach erosion myth
04-25-2014, 06:34 AM
Post: #1
Beach erosion myth
Erosion on Negril beach is just a myth. If there was no one living there how would a person tell.Erosion is a comparsion of what the beach was like yesterday to what it looks like the next day . If Negril beach was just found/discovered today THAT'S !!!! when the erosion marker would be set. If all the hotels were up in Redground the topic of beach erosion would never be mentioned .The beach would be lovely everyday ,no complaints about walking in the water around bars and stuff like that. The sewage is the "bad guy ". When the river ran brown in days gone by ,that was nature but now it's nature with poop in it.When you are fishing/sailing etc. you can tell where the reef's come out from the shore by the shape of the land. Things like Mary's Bay pier will cause alot of damage some day.It will cause eddy's and undermine itself and cause nature to be rough on itself instead of being gentle on the shore. Storms are nature's way of having a bowel movement. The sea becomes fresh ,turning everything upside down . That is when fishing is at it's best after a storm .Nature is defoliating the bottom and sending it to shore to be used as natural fertilzer, not buried .It then grows back and the cycle starts again (or should ). Look at pics of the beach 40-50 years ago and it is so virbrant ,fed by nature. Tranquility is what's needed to keep the beach healthy. Laying back letting the human body rest in turn not making the beach work 24/7 is the key I think. Why do we need all the stuff like never ending water crafts and horse's trying there best to avoid killing people (just a matter of time ).It's the buildings that are the markers of erosion no the beach . What say you on this topic.
 
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04-25-2014, 07:25 AM
Post: #2
RE: Beach erosion myth
 I agree 100% OT. The beach is always evolving thanks to Mother Nature. One area may lose while another gains with each passing storm. Then it reverses itself with the next one. Here are some vintage photos of Negril back in the day. The first two are screen shots taken during the filming of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the 1950's. The second pair are Bloody Bay from the early 1970's.
     
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 
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04-25-2014, 07:57 AM
Post: #3
RE: Beach erosion myth
I have to agree, too, OT.  Nature will move and replace and put back again.  We need to be mindful and take care of our enviornment so it isn't destroyed and changed to such a degree that it won't come back.
 
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04-25-2014, 08:16 AM
Post: #4
RE: Beach erosion myth
I agree OT, beaches are constantly moving and changing like all living things do. Playa Norte on Isla is a prime example , a few years back the sand moved out to sea. Now it is back and the beach larger than I have ever seen it. Nothing the hotels did for erosion had much effect..........it was nature doing its thing that brought the sand back and at some point it will take it away again.
 

Beer is proof God wants us to be happy, Ben Franklin
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04-25-2014, 10:28 AM
Post: #5
RE: Beach erosion myth
I've seen beach sands shift drastically just in a 3 month period - so yes, you are correct in that way - what nature takes away, she puts back - most often someplace else.

But to discount erosion as a whole is a mistake. The more development that happens on a beach the more erosion will occur.  For every tree, shrub and plant ripped out, the more sand will be lost - that simple environmental science.  If the reefs are destroyed, the sands cannot be replaced.  A healthy coastline depends on a lot of factors.  As somone who first walked Long Bay in 1983 I can tell you the beach there has changed...BP's photos of Bloody Bay break my heart, I remember it that way very clearly and the sand and water are just not that pristine now with all the development and human use.  The Long Bay I first walked and enjoyed had more "open space" than not - now its like Las Vegas...sigh.  The bush line is pushed back practically to the road so sure, for a time you see more sand but that bush is what keeps the sand stable.

Care must be taken to preserve what's left - here in NoCal there is an ongoing volunteer effort to prevent erosion by planting, limiting development (like - NONE) and constantly watching over polluting factors.  It is my hope that Jamaica wakes up one day to see what it has and does what it takes to keep it.
 

"Once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right..."
www.westcountywestend.com
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04-25-2014, 10:54 AM
Post: #6
RE: Beach erosion myth
I agree, but not 100%.

Agree with the idea that nature is generally cyclical, in particular with regard to most beach  erosion. Agree also in the sense that I'm not convinced some of the 'beach repair' methods actually work in some, or perhaps any, situations (jettys, offshore breakers, reef balls, dredging/reclamation, etc.).

However, in some places, beach erosion appears to have been documented over long periods with no cycle - i.e. the shoreline only moves in one direction. That Sandals-sponsored report from a few years ago had aerial surveys of Long Beach showing erosion, in the long term, going in one direction. IIRC it was a decent (to my non-scientifically trained mind) period of time between each contour in the graph plot (10 years maybe?). Some areas showed greater and more consistent retreat of shoreline than others (I think the report was making that point - that the locale of Sandals' property was bearing the brunt of something done up by Hedo area). Sure - they may have had an agenda and cherry-picked which aerials to use in their elevation contour plots, but in general I do believe the beach is eroding.

There have been enough places in the world that have shown loss/decay of offshore reefs increased chance of beach erosion that I believe reefs are important for shoreline protection.

In LA the loss of shoreline has been documented for years (nearly a century). Most scientific studies agree that the canals through the onshore swamps combined with the straightening of the Mississippi River are the main contributors to the loss. (btw - "Bayou Farewell" by Mike Tidwell is a good read, IMHO). There may be a few studies that demur on the cause but I haven't heard/read any that dispute the idea that the shoreline is receding (and rapidly).

Will the shoreline move back out some day in LA? Maybe. Global sea level studies going back 10,000 and 100,000s of years show changes in both directions through various ice ages and warming periods. (the sound you hear is that huge can of worms now opening ...) Are changes to sea levels caused by human practices part of a "natural" cycle? Dunno. The sun is supposed to explode in some 2+ billion years and one could take the long view that it doesn't really matter what we do to the sea level. I prefer to believe that in the near term (next few 100 years or so) what we do to the environment does matter.
Perhaps in 100,000 years some change will allow the LA shoreline to rebuild. Or perhaps the apes will be riding their horses along the rebuilt LA shoreline as Charlton Heston bellows "You maniacs, you blew it up".
 

 
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04-25-2014, 11:09 AM
Post: #7
RE: Beach erosion myth
(04-25-2014 10:54 AM)'JonTom' Wrote:  ... IIRC it was a decent (to my non-scientifically trained mind) period of time between each contour in the graph plot (10 years maybe?)....

 
Just had to look it up. The report shows 1968, 1980, 1991, 2003, and 2006. They still could have picked sources to match an agenda and I can't find any cited source, but I'm rather pleasantly surprised that I (roughly) remembered the time interval correctly.
 

 
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04-25-2014, 11:26 AM
Post: #8
RE: Beach erosion myth
I guess what I meant was that the BUILDINGS !!! are the markers. If there were no buildings on the beach then the sand would go out and in without noticing it. The beach is always moving BUT !!!! the buildings are stationary. It's like standing on the waterline and the tide comes in ,now my feet are wet ,the tide goes out ,now my feet are dry.BUT !!!! if I walked away my feet would always be dry. With buildings yes erosion matters because they can't move but without buildings close to the water's edge it doesn't matter.I personally live on 50 acres of land on the Northumberland Strait with 1,780 ft of shorefront and the beach changes storm in and storm out but there is no one living here so erosion in not a factor. Erosion is an adjective of population . ( Wow ,I never thought I could say that..hehehe )
 
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04-25-2014, 03:09 PM
Post: #9
RE: Beach erosion myth
Quote: oldtimer said: Erosion is an adjective of population
Well stated!
 

Beer is proof God wants us to be happy, Ben Franklin
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04-26-2014, 11:58 AM
Post: #10
RE: Beach erosion myth
VERY well put OT!!

"Agree also in the sense that I'm not convinced some of the 'beach repair' methods actually work in some, or perhaps any, situations (jettys, offshore breakers, reef balls, dredging/reclamation, etc.)."
Not convinced of that either but I do know what works - I've seen it work - plantings, replenishing dunes with native grasses, limits and/or moratoriums on development.  With development unfortunately you cannot turn back the clock however one could take a page from Fire Island's handbook and note that if a hurricane demolishes your coastline house you cannot rebuild on the same spot - it basically goes back to nature.  Result?  Homes built further from the actual shoreline with stiff limitations and moratoriums in some communities.

The few structures here in Bodega Bay that are literally "hanging" from the cliff due to weather, storms, etc. are one by one being demolished and not rebuilt due to current zoning laws.

The idea is get smarter about saving the coastline despite years of mistakes.

"Once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right..."
www.westcountywestend.com
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