Living with Florida's Atlantic Beaches

9780822332510: Hardback
Release Date: 7th June 2004

9780822332893: Paperback
Release Date: 7th June 2004

106 b&w photos, 23 tables, 56 maps

Dimensions: 152 x 235

Number of Pages: 360

Series Living with the Shore

Duke University Press Books

Living with Florida's Atlantic Beaches

Coastal Hazards from Amelia Island to Key West

Hardback / £89.00
Paperback / £23.99

From Amelia Island just south of Georgia to Key West’s southern tip, beaches are one of Florida’s greatest assets. Yet these beaches are in danger: rapid structural development on a highly erodible coast make them vulnerable to some of nature’s greatest storms. The same development that has been driven by the attraction of beautiful beaches and coastal amenities now threatens those very resources. In turn, coastal structures are at risk from sea-level rise, shoreline retreat, winter storms, and hurricanes. Most of the methods for reducing losses associated with storms protect property only in the short term—at a growing cost in dollars and loss of natural habitat in the long term.

Living with Florida’s Atlantic Beaches is a guide to mitigating or reducing losses of property, human life, and natural resources by living with, rather than just at, the shore. This illustrated volume provides an introduction to coastal processes and geology as well as a brief history of coastal hazards and short-sighted human responses. This is the first volume in the Living with the Shore series to discuss the significant long-term impact of dredge-and-fill beach construction on living marine resources. Guidance is provided for long-term risk reduction in the form of tips on storm-resistant construction and site evaluation; maps for evaluating relative vulnerability to hazards are also included. A brief review of coastal regulations will help property owners understand and navigate the various permit requirements for developing coastal property. Living with Florida’s Atlantic Beaches is an invaluable source of information for everyone from the curious beach visitor to the community planner, from the prudent property investor to the decision-making public official.

List of Figures, Tables, and Risk Maps xi
Preface xvii
1 From Fort Clinch to Fort Taylor: East Florida’s Dynamic Coast 1
Coastal Images 3
Geology: The Basis of Environment 4
Coastal Landforms 14
Coastal Processes and the Importance of Sand 14
Climate: A Fundamental Component of Environment 16
Prehistoric Life: Early Humans 18
Access: The Key to Development 19
Lighthouse Lessons 21
Population Explosion in the Coastal Zone 24
Prospects of the Future 27
2 The Vulnerable Coast: Living With Storms 28
Hurricanes 33
Hurricane Probability 35
Ranking Hurricane Intensities 38
Hurricane History: A Stormy Past 39
Early Hurricanes 40
Recent Hurricanes 41
Winter Storms 43
Other Storm Related Hazards 44
Coastal Storm Processes 44
Natural Processes: Energy in Motion 45
Wind 45
Storm Waves 45
Currents 45
Storm Surge 45
Storm-Surge Ebb 47
Human Coastal Modifications: Altering the Response to Natural Processes 47
3 The Variable Coast: Beaches, Barrier Islands, and Coastal Processes 49
The Significance of Barrier Islands in Hazard Evaluation 51
Barrier Island Evolution 53
Stationary or Grounded Barrier Islands 55
Rolling Sandbars: How Islands Migrate 56
The Role of Shoreface in Barrier Island Evolution 59
Geologic Framework of the Coast: Know Your Shoreface 59
Beaches: Nature’s Shock Absorbers 61
How Does the Beach Responds to a Storm? 61
How Does the Beach Widen? 62
Where Does Beach Sand Come From? 65
Why Are Our Shorelines Retreating? 65
If Most Shorelines Are Eroding, What is the Long-Range Future of Beach Development? 65
4 The Fortified Coast: Living With Coastal Engineering 67
Shoreline Armoring: Engineering Structures 68
Shore-Parallel Structures on Land: The Seawall Family 69
Impacts of Seawalls 73
Passive Beach Loss 73
Active Beach Loss 73
Placement Beach Loss 73
Seawalls, Sediment Loss, and Narrowing Beaches 73
Shore-Parallel Structures Offshore: Breakwaters 76
Shore-Perpindicular Structures: Groins and Jetties 77
Impacts on Groins 77
Engineering Structures: A Final Word 80
Coastal Armoring Policy 81
“Alternative” Devices 83
Redistributing Sediment: Dredging/Filing, Trucking, Scraping, and Bypassing 86
Beach Dredge-and-Fill Projects 86
Trucking Sand 92
Beach Scraping 92
Sand Transfer Plants 95
Dune Building 95
Plugging Dune Gaps 95
Principles of Sand Fencing and Artificial Plantings 96
Relocation: Managed Retreat 97
Are Variances Eroding Beach Protection Efforts? 98
Truths of the Shoreline 98
5 Environmental Effects of Beach Management 100
The Shelf Settling 100
How Marine Animals Can Be Affected by Engineering Projects 102
Beach Engineering Methods and Environmental Effects 104
Large Dredge-and-Fill Projects 105
Engineering Methods 105
Historical Perspectives on Beach Dredge and Fill 106
Environmental Effects 107
Mid-Shelf Areas (35-60 Feet) 107
Intermediate Shelf Areas (12-35 Feet) 108
Nearshore and Onshore Areas (0-12 Feet) 109
Inlet Channel Maintenance 110
Nearshore Berms 110
Importing Aragonite Sand 111
Sand Transfer Plants 112
Comparative Environmental Effects of Beach Engineering Methods 113
The Chronic Absence of Cumulative Impact Assessments 114
Natural Stressors 114
Historical Reef Burials 115
Mitigation and Artificial Reefs 116
Just The Facts 117
The Scale of Past and Future Dredge-and-Fill Projects 118
Current Understanding of Faunas and Impacts of Beach Engineering 118
6 The Rules of the Coast: Assessing Hazards 120
The Flexible Coast 121
Selecting Your Coastal Site 124
Stability Indicators: Reading Nature’s Record at the Coast 127
Terrain and Elevation 127
Vegetation 127
Seashells 130
Soil Profiles 130
Coastal Environments: Your Site in the Bigger Coastal Picture 131
Primary Dunes 131
Dune Fields 132
Overwash Fans 133
Grasslands 133
Inlets 134
The Infrastructure Coast: Water Resources, Services, and Utilities 134
Finger Canals 135
Site Evaluation Checklist: Vulnerability and Risk Potential
Escape Routes: Have an Emergency Plan 138
Know the Escape Route Ahead of Time 138
Use the Route Early 139
7 The Nitty-Gritty Coast: Evaluating Your Coastal Site 140
Nassau County 142
Duval County
147
St. Johns County 153
Flagler County 164
Volusia County 169
Brevard County 177
Indian River County 189
St. Lucie County 193
Martin County 199
Palm Beach County 205
Broward County 215
Dade County 222
Miami Beach: The Endpoint 232
Monroe County/Florida Keys 232
The Environment 235
Look What They’ve Done to Our Keys! 237
The Storm Threat 241
The Next Step 247
8 The Built Coast: Construction Guidelines 249
Can We Learn from Past Experience? 249
Coastal Realty versus Coastal Reality 249
The Structure: Concept of Balanced Risk 250
Can We Rely on Building Codes? 251
Coastal Forces: Desing Requirements 251
Lessons from Previous Storms 253
The National Flood Insurance Program 255
Construction Type 255
House Selection 255
Strengthening the Exterior Envelope 256
Doors 257
Windows 257
Structural Integrity 257
Building Shape 257
Roofs 258
Connectivity, High-Wind Straps, and Tie-Downs 262
Keeping Dry: Pole or “Stilt” Houses 263
Piling Embedment 265
Connection of Piling to the Floor and Roof 267
Breakaway Walls below Elevated Buildings 267
Concrete Slabs below Elevated Buildings 267
Utility Systems 267
Dry Flood-Proofing 268
An Existing House: What to Look for, Where to Improve

David M. Bush is an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at the State University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia.

William J. Neal is a professor in the Department of Geology at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

Norma J. Longo is a geologist in Durham, North Carolina.

Kenyon C. Lindeman, a biologist, is a senior scientist with Environmental Defense in Miami, Florida.

Deborah F. Pilkey is an engineer in Simi Valley, California.

Luciana Slomp Esteves is a coastal geologist at the Laboratory of Oceanographic Geology at Fundacao University in Rio Grande, Brazil.