Sunday, March 3

Nearly $400 million spent in recent years to rebuild, nourish Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast beaches 

In the past two years, the Jupiter Inlet Beach was part of a multi-million dollar nourishment project where the beach is extended with more sand.

And the wind, rain, and tides that come from storms like one expected this weekend will pull some of that sand back into the Atlantic. With rising sea levels and more frequent storms, beaches lose sand at a far faster rate than they used to.

University of South Florida Geosciences Professor Dr. Ping Wang studies beach erosion. He said a few experiments are underway that might prove to slow down erosion, but for now, nourishments are a fact of life.

Unfortunately, theres really no magic bullet to stop it, Wang said.

And nourishing projects are costing taxpayers dearly.

According to a study by the University of Western Carolina, a total of $3.73 million federal, state, and local dollars have been spent rebuilding beaches on the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast.

And costs are rising.

Particularly in the southeast part of Florida, we would probably run out of sand, Dr. Wang said, who added the cost of rebuilding beaches is rising, because suitable sand has to either be trucked in, or pumped in from offshore.

Its a price most all tourism officials say keeps Coastal Florida in business.

The alternative is to let nature take its course, and let the beaches disappear.

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