Monday, November 22, 2010

Property rights don't outweigh public's right to enjoy beaches -Editorial

The Wilmington Star-News came out with a great editorial piece this weekend supporting the long-standing ban on hardened shoreline structures.

"...structures don’t solve the problem; more often than not they shift erosion to another part of the beach."

"But during the decades-long coastal building boom, developers and landowners fought to be able to build in places coastal experts warned were erosion-prone. If it was vacant, someone pushed to build there, or to build closer to the water."

"Ideally, the ban should remain intact, for our beaches’ sake.

But if it is to be breached, as now seems is possible, the public must loudly remind the Honorables that the beaches belong to all state residents, not just a fortunate few with a spectacular view."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lawyers Screw their Clients out of Sand

State calls off big Galveston beach project

Last week the TX Supreme Court took some of the teeth out of the Open Beaches Act, ruling that properties that suffer erosion from storms can't be ceded to the public, as was previously the case. The TX General Land Office (GLO), who manages public shorelines, decided that this ruling means the state can't go forward with a large Beach Fill project because it would now benefit private property. Of course the project would have benefited the very people who brought the original case.

"It's kind of ironic that the Pacific Legal Foundation, who supposedly is on the side of property owners, has just screwed the property owners who were going to have a direct benefit from the renourished beaches," Patterson said. He said that without the project, the rapidly eroding beach will put some of those houses in the Gulf of Mexico much faster.

So much for unintended consequences.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

San Diego Gets More Than Sand

Beachfill projects can go wrong anywhere and we should be able to learn from them regardless of their location. I don’t want this blog to only be about projects gone bad in NJ. So, from my friends on the West Coast…

Mission Bay in San Diego was to be dredged for navigation and the material was to be used as fill on a local beach. But the project met with an unexpected, unknown element. Namely, the stuff on the bottom of the Bay! Everything from old tires to event older beer cans were being sucked off the bottom of the bay and onto the beach.

See the full slide show here in case you forgot what the Bud Light logo looked like ten years ago, what the Coors logo looked like 20 years ago, and what the Pepsi logo looked like 30 years ago.

It gets worse, when confronted with the “objects” appearing in the sand, the Army Corps and the contractor guaranteed local elected officials that a person would monitor the slurry coming out of the pipe. According to this article, that didn’t work out so well.

But anyone who has seen these pipes gushing the sand and water slurry would know there is no grabbing beer cans or whatever out of them while in progress.

A small collection of items found in with the beachfill.

More media on this issue.