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Letters to the Editor
   

Volume 78 No. 1. Winter 2010 Abstracts

EDITORIAL:
THE CHALLENGES AHEAD
Reinhard E. Flick, Ph.D.

STABILIZATION OF RAVINES, ADJACENT BEACHES
AND BLUFFS ON LAKE MICHIGAN
Charles W. Shabica, Ph.D., P.G., James R. Jennings, Ph.D., P.G., Maynard Riley, and Jeff Boeckler

This report details the performance of four Illinois coastal restoration and stabilization projects constructed and monitored over 3-15 years. All include integration of native plants with stone into sustainable systems that protect ravines and adjacent coastal beaches from the intense erosional forces of stormwater runoff and storm waves. Prior to urbanization, ravines were metastable and bluffs and beaches eroded slowly. All supported unique plant communities. During the last 125 years, coastal and ravine erosion has accelerated due to loss of protective beaches and an increase in peak stormwater runoff flowing into the ravines. Most of these problems can be attributed to
construction and maintenance of harbor entrance channels, impervious structures in the watershed and to the introduction of invasive plants like silver maple and buckthorn. Societal response has typically been to attack the coastal problems with hardened structures of wood, steel and concrete and ignore the problems in the ravines. The result is a lakeshore dominated by hard defensive structures including revetments, groins and seawalls, and ravines with a patchwork of retaining walls, storm sewers, and outfalls. Plant communities have been displaced and many of the structures have failed, in most cases due to flanking or foundation failure. This study quantifies the performance of alternative systems designed to function in concert with natural processes as compared to hardened erosion control structures. Study sites include ravines and beaches in fully urbanized areas of Lake Bluff, Highland Park and Glencoe, and eroding bluffs at Foss Park Beach in North Chicago. Systems were monitored for bacterial indicators of sewage pollution (E. coli bacteria), establishment of vegetation, and erosion and sediment loading to Lake Michigan. The most successful ravine projects include removal of invasive plants, restoration of appropriately-sized stream boulders and cobbles (stream armor) with streambanks and ravine slopes further stabilized with stone and native plants. Although water quality improved with reduction of fine sediments and repair of broken sewers, bacterial monitoring was inconclusive. Levels of E. coli bacteria were typically high in the ravines and beach sands and low in Lake Michigan, and appear to be due to diverse animal communities living in the ravines and not necessarily human sewage. Except for periods after heavy rains, the ravines had no effect on E. coli levels in the lake. The lakeshore adjacent to the ravines was successfully stabilized with rocky headlands and pocket beaches, wetlands, and native plants. Results of this report are intended to help planners better manage Great Lakes ravines and coasts with
techniques that reduce erosion and restore diverse ecosystems. Based on criteria developed in this study, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with the Lake Michigan Watershed Ecosystem Partnership and Alliance for the Great Lakes has mapped all Lake County ravines to quantify stability and ecological viability. It is anticipated that with the success of the ravine mapping project, mapping the Lake Michigan shoreline
for stability and ecological viability will soon follow.

USE OF HUMIC ACID AMENDMENT TO ACCELERATE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DUNE AND BACK-BARRIER MARSH VEGETATION
Jonathan M. Willis and Mark W. Hester

Major limitations to the successful restoration of coastal dune and back-barrier salt
marsh plant communities systems are the often relatively low nutrient and organic
matter content of the substrate. An additional complexity of restoration efforts in these
systems results from concerns regarding the use of traditional inorganic fertilizers
due to the proximity of coastal waters. The use of naturally based products, such as
liquid composts and humic acid extracts, as a means of ameliorating marginal soils
has been increasing in recent years. The potential growth benefits of humic acid on
two dune grasses, Panicum amarum and Uniola paniculata, and two salt marsh species, Spartina alterniflora and Avicennia germinans, were evaluated in greenhouse studies under different environmental stressors. Humic acid amendment stimulated the growth of Panicum amarum and Spartina alterniflora, although no benefit was discernable for Uniola paniculata or Avicennia germinans. No interactions of stressors with humic acid amendments, which might have indicated stress amelioration were noted. These findings suggest that humic acid amendment could be an effective technique in coastal habitat restoration of targeted species, particularly when the use of inorganic fertilizer is limited. However, further research will be necessary to better resolve amendment levels and to optimize benefits under field conditions.

MONITORING OF RECENT MORPHOLOGICAL CHANGES OF THE DUNE OF VOUGOT BEACH (BRITTANY, FRANCE) USING DIFFERENTIAL GPS
Serge Suanez, Jean-Marie Cariolet, and Bernard Fichaut

The dune of Vougot beach is a massive drifting sand body approximately 250 to 400 m wide and 2 km long. It is located in the municipality of Guissény, on the north coast of Finistère (Brittany). This dune, with a southwest to northeast position, protects a vast polder area which was disconnected from the sea by a dike construction in 1834. For several decades the eastern part of this dune experienced erosion mainly due to
the construction of an artificial jetty in 1974 (Curnic jetty), which entirely modified the hydrodynamics and sedimentation processes. In order to determine the actual trend of evolution, the advance rate, and the resultant sand drift that is occurring, a survey of the dune was achieved between 2004 and 2009. Shoreline changes were monitored on a yearly basis; in addition, two detailed topography surveys (2005 and 2009) were
carried out. Topography surveys were made using a Trimble DGPS respectively with 5 cm and 1.5 cm of horizontal and vertical accuracy. ArcView GIS was used to process the data and display the results. Shoreline change rates were determined using Digital Shoreline Analysis (DSA) ArcView tools to measure erosion and accretion transects. 3D surface analysis was based on Digital Elevation Model (DEM) calculations using Surfer software. Foredune changes showed that dune evolution since 2004 is in accordance with the trend observed during the last decades. However, the speed of dune retreat has increased from 0.6 m/yr to 1.5 m/yr. The comparison between DEMs obtained from the 2005 and 2009 surveys confirmed this
evolution. A volume of eroded sand from the dune amounting to -10,677 ± 110 m3 with an erosion of the foreshore beach of -10,933 ± 1,396 m3 was determined. These results confirm the fact that the Curnic jetty is constantly interrupting the sand
drift inducing an increase in sediment loss from the Vougot beach/dune system.

O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS:
AN INTERVIEW WITH BILLY EDGE
Beth Sciaudone, Ph.D.

COASTAL OBSERVATIONS:
SOUTH NEW JERSEY
Andrew Morang, Ph.D.

COASTAL OBSERVATIONS:
TSUNAMI WARNING SIGNS ON THE ENSHU
COAST(JAPAN)
Hubert Chanson

THE AMERICAN SHORE AND BEACH PRESERVATION
ASSOCIATION THIRD ANNUAL PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

THE SECOND ANNUAL ASBPA PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

ASBPA 2010 NATIONAL COASTAL CONFERENCE
CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS

80 Years of the ASBPA Journal Shore & Beach Now Available on DVD
Order yours today! This valuable collection also includes conference proceedings from the early days of the organization.

Journal of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association

First published in October, 1933, Shore & Beach is the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) dedicated to publishing sound, interesting technical information concerning the shores and beaches of the nation and the world.  Its main purpose is to further the goals of ASBPA as affirmed in the mission statement of the organization: 

“The purpose of the Association is to bring together for cooperation and mutual helpfulness the many agencies, interests and individuals concerned with the protection and proper utilization of these lands, and in all legitimate ways to foster that sound, far-sighted and economical development and preservation of the lands which will aid in placing their benefits within the reach of the largest possible number of people in accordance with the ideals of a democratic nation.”

Papers are accessible and comprehensible to everyone with a stake in the coast.  Shore & Beach provides a forum not only for scientists and engineers, but also for elected officials, property owners, residents, and beach-goers; that is, all the natural constituents of ASBPA.

The journal strives to publish high-quality papers that contribute to the knowledge base necessary for sound coastal decision-making and the important contemporary debates concerning shores and beaches everywhere.  Content includes coastal scientific, economic, social, and political findings, coastal observations, and editorials.  The journal recognizes that accurate and relevant information made widely available is the foundation of a democratic nation.