Join Cocoa Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation to stop the filling of our beach with sand that is not compatible with our natural beach.
Our beach and our waves have been transformed from a wide flat beach which broke consistently at all tides, to a steep sloping beach which shuts down at high tide, poses an increased risk of rip current formation and surf related injuries, makes sea turtle nesting more difficult, and reduces opportunities for other recreational activities such as running and bicycling.
Our beach has been eroding ever since Port Canaveral was built in 1954. In 2001 the Army Corps of Engineers began nourishing (filling) our beach with sand from the Canaveral Shoals (sandbars offshore of Cape Canaveral). The sand from the Canaveral Shoals is more than twice as coarse (larger sand grains) than our natural beach. This coarser sand was placed on our beach in 2001, 2005, 2014 and 2018. The result is a beach that is much steeper than our natural beach. If left undisturbed our beach could recover to its natural state but continued nourishments using this coarser sand could permanently transform the nature of our beach.
Negative Impacts of Beach Nourishment with Sand from the Canaveral Shoals
- Coarser sand = steeper beach
- Steeper beach = more rip currents = more dangerous beach
- 130% increase in preventative rescues after nourishment in 2014 (Based on data from Brevard County Ocean Rescue)
- Steeper beach = reduced sea turtle nests
- 50% less nests after nourishment (per Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission)
- 10% reduction in nesting success (more false crawls)
- Steeper beach = waves breaking right on shore at high tide
- A local Surf School was forced to cancel 248 lessons between March and October of 2018 because the waves were unrideable or unsafe during high tide, the cancelled lessons represented a 17% loss in revenue, the school only schedules surf lessons at low tide now
- A surf impact study conducted by Surfrider Foundation after the 2014 nourishment concluded that the overall surf quality was reduced by 50% post nourishment
A Permanent Sand Bypass Station at Port Canaveral:
an alternative solution to our beach erosion problem.
Our beach is eroding because the jetties at Port Canaveral block the natural southerly flow of sand along our coastline. The sand that belongs on our beach is trapped north of the jetties. In fact the Army Corps of Engineers has bypassed some of that trapped sand around the Port in 1972, 1995, 1998, 2007, and 2010. What we need is a permanent sand bypass station at Port Canaveral. A permanent sand bypass station would restore a more natural flow of sand around the jetties and onto our beach, eliminate disruptive dredge and fill operations, reduce impacts to public safety, reduce impacts on our surf, and save taxpayers more than $74 million dollars over the course of 30 years, that savings would represent a 45% reduction in overall project cost.
Technical Papers on the Impact of Beach Nourishment on Surfing and Beach Safety: