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 History

  

Broward County Shoreline

The natural forces of coastal storms, winds, tides, waves, and currents constantly move sand along our coast. Sand is typically carried alongshore with prevailing currents, or is moved to offshore sandbars where it is stored temporarily before being redeposited on the beach.  Major storm events and unusual coastal forces however, can carry sand offshore, depositing it in water too deep for re-entrainment to the beach.  When this happens, the shoreline will often recede, moving further inward in a process called erosion. Beach erosion refers to the loss of beach width and sand volume, and the landward encroachment of the shoreline, associated with this loss of sand.  When beach erosion is severe, waves and storm surge can have significant impacts on coastal properties resulting in the destruction of private and public infrastructure, wildlife habitat, and recreational areas.

Broward County has successfully managed its beaches for more than 50 years.  Prior to this time, many coastal residents acted unilaterally to address shoreline erosion, haphazardly installing wave breaks, groins, and seawalls (picture inserted below). While locally this may have appeared to alleviate the problem, it often exacerbated erosion on neighboring properties. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive beach management strategy, in 1965 the County entered into a partnership with the federal government forming the Broward County Shoreline Protection Project (SPP).  The SPP created the legal framework for federal reimbursement and set the geophysical conditions and boundaries for a systematic approach to addressing coastal erosion in Broward County. Since that time, beach nourishment projects have been used as a means of restoring and maintaining eroded areas of Broward County's shoreline. The beaches have improved with each restoration event.

Beach Renourishment History Map​​​​