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 Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

Science. Policy. Education. Outreach. Coastal.

Beach Nourishment

Explore the national beach nourishment experience with Western Carolina University’s  interactive beach nourishment web site. Search for beach nourishment episodes and projects by state or beach, and view results in table, chart and map format. Our database represents, to the best of our knowledge, the most comprehensive compilation of beach nourishment history in the United States.

This site provides a user-friendly portal for accessing, viewing and downloading PSDS’ beach nourishment database: a 25-year research and data collection effort that, to the best of our knowledge, represents the most comprehensive compilation of beach nourishment history in the United States.

Under constant revision, the PSDS beach nourishment database contains attribute information on the general location of sand placement, primary funding source and funding type, volume of sediment emplacement (in cubic yards), length of beach nourished (in feet) and cost and inflated cost for 2,054 identified beach nourishment episodes dating back to 1923.

For the sake of consistency and clarification, please note that we consider any action that places sand on a beach to be a nourishment episode rather than a nourishment project. This terminology helps differentiate between a discrete emplacement of sand and a US Army Corps of Engineers’ shore protection/beach nourishment project that can involve multiple nourishment episodes and last up to 50 years.

As scientific advocates, our goal in making this data available is to provide a source of objective, comprehensive beach nourishment information to all stakeholders involved in responsible, equitable and sustainable coastal environmental management. Coastal planners, legislators, lobbyists, community members, coastal residents, researchers, local policy analysts, decision makers, engineers and students will find this site useful, considering the multitude of disparate sources from which the data has been obtained.

Contact for the Beach Nourishment Website:
Andy Coburn

Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines
Old Student Union
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28734