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    Popular Miami Beaches Run out of Sand

    By Erin Cassidy, AccuWeather staff writer
    August 30, 2013, 6:11:57 AM EDT

    In Florida, Miami-Dade and Broward counties have run out of sand, leaving their popular beaches vulnerable to erosion and hurricane damage, according to Army Corps of Engineers officials.

    "The general perception is the ocean is full of sand, but to get the sand in an environmentally responsible way, to get sand compatible with what's on the beaches, it's difficult at times," said Tom Martin, a senior coastal engineer with the corps. He added that the two counties are the first to run out of offshore sand resources for beach renourishment.


    While research from the corps and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection found enough sand available off southeastern Florida for five decades of beach renourishment projects in five counties, nearly all of it is located off the coasts of other counties.

    Now, corps workers are considering tapping into alternatives, like inland sand mines or even international sources. Miami-Dade has previously experienced sand shortages, and officials then started looking into the Bahamas as a possible sand source starting in the 1980s.

    Beach renourishment projects build a buffer between infrastructure and ocean waves and storms. The southeastern Florida coast has been undergoing beach renourishment projects since the late 1970s (Jennifer Kay, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 14).

    Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

    E&E Publishing is the leading source for comprehensive, daily coverage of environmental and energy issues. Click here to start a free trial to E&E's information services.

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