What is a Best Restored Beach?
For the last 40 years, beach restoration has been the preferred method of shore protection in coastal communities on the east, west and Gulf coasts. Beach restoration is the process of placing beach-quality sand on eroding beaches to reverse or offset the effects of erosion.
The three main reasons for restoration are:
- Storm protection – A wide sandy beach helps separate storm waves from upland structures and infrastructure
- Habitat restoration – Numerous species rely on wide, healthy beaches as a place to live, feed and nest
- Recreation – America’s beaches have twice as many visitors annually as all of America’s national parks combined. Every year, there are over 2 billion visitors to America’s beaches. In 2007, beaches contributed $322 billion to the America’s economy. More importantly, for every dollar the federal government spends on beach nourishment, it gets $320 back in tax revenues.
Coastal communities have restored more than 370 beaches in the United States, including such iconic coastlines as Miami Beach, Coney Island and Southern California’s Venice Beach.
“ASBPA created the Best Restored Beach award as a way of highlighting the value of restored beaches,” said Harry Simmons, mayor of Caswell Beach, NC, and ASBPA president. “As Americans flock to our nation’s coastline during the beach season, most don’t even realize they may be enjoying a restored beach.”
To enter the Best Restored Beach competition, coastal communities nominated their restoration projects for consideration, and an independent panel of coastal managers and scientists selected the winners. Judging was based on three criteria: the economic and ecological benefits the beach brings to its community; the short- and long-term success of the restoration project; and the challenges each community overcame during the course of the project. A list of past winners can be found here.