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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Beaches Taking Another Winter Beating

Fairhope, Alabama.


CHRONIC EROSION PROBLEMS

City beaches, bulkheads and seawalls have taken their usual seasonal beating;  and a significant portion of the sand placed last summer on north Magnolia Beach (near Pier St.) has already been washed away.

About 6,000 tons of sand were hauled in and deposited there: costing about $60,000.

(A citizen brought the problem to the council's attention last Spring -- click.)

Strong south winds preceding winter storms, combined with a wooden barrier (jetty) extending out into the water,  seems to cause the water to build up in that cove -- and rise higher than adjacent areas.


MUNICIPAL BEACH  TOO

"Living shoreline" here?
Most of the replenishment-sand deposited on municipal beach north of the pier after hurricane Katrina has now been washed away as well; and the wooden seawall/bulkhead south of the pier further damaged and eroded.

Sink holes often open up near the wall, and the stairs repaired frequently.






IMPROVEMENTS TOO EXPENSIVE?

A regular beach-sand replenishment program like those in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores -- and replacing the pier seawall with a more environmentally-friendly "living shoreline" has been discussed at times by past city councils; but no action ever taken due to the costs involved.

Replacing the leaning seawall/bulkhead will cost about $110K -- but installing the living shoreline only about $50K more, according to media accounts in 2011 -- click.

Beach replenishment is on the discussion agenda for this Monday's council work session.






N. Magnolia Beach, July 2014 after emergency repairs.

Emergency beach repairs, June 2014.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Duh.....

Mark Bernasconi said...

The living shoreline would: improve fishing on the pier, improve the area aesthetics, provide more recreational opportunities for residents, reduce ToC (total cost of ownership) of the water front and help clean the bay. So it would pay for itself and improve the lives of Fairhope citizens. This project meets a high bar than does other improvements made around town lately. Let's rationally look at town budget, funding sources and competing projects and go for it!

Anonymous said...

Duh ... why is the city council spennding millions of our tax dollrs on luxury items like more tennis courts and ball fields and not necessities like these?

Lady M said...

Mother Nature is coming back to haunt those whom try to control her . . . .