FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: INTRODUCTIONS AND FAREWELLS
RIP CURRENTS: TYPES AND IDENTIFICATION
Stephen P. Leatherman
Rip currents are powerful, channelized currents of water that flow offshore from beaches. These dangerous currents are the most serious hazard for beachgoers on the world’s surf beaches. There are many different types of rip currents, but the terminology has varied considerably. Five types of rip currents are identified and described: (1) bar-gap rips; (2) cusped-shore rips; (3) structurally-controlled rips; (4) flash rips; and (5) mega-rips. It is proposed that this descriptive terminology be adopted in order to promote better public understanding of this silent killer that is responsible for more than 100 fatalities annually and 80% of all surf rescues in the United States.
SANDAG SHORELINE MANAGEMENT AND GETTING TO THE 2012 REGIONAL BEACH SAND PROJECT
Katie Levy and Shelby Tucker
In July 1993, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) adopted a longterm vision for restoring the region’s beaches known as the “Shoreline Preservation Strategy for the San Diego Region” (Strategy). Since that time, the region has been working to implement our shared vision through beach nourishment. Additionally, SANDAG initiated the Regional Shoreline Monitoring Program (Monitoring Program) in 1996. This comprehensive approach to monitoring the shoreline provides data that can document changes to the shoreline over time and provides important information to decision-makers when beach replenishment efforts are contemplated. In 2001 SANDAG implemented the first-of-its-kind regional sand restoration project in the western United States. The 2001 Regional Beach Sand Project (RBSP) placed a total of 2.1 million cubic yards of clean, beach-quality sand on 12 receiver sites from Oceanside to Imperial Beach. The sand was dredged from six ocean floor sand borrow sites located up to a mile offshore. This pilot project demonstrated the feasibility of beach replenishment in the region without adversely impacting the environment. Building upon the success of the 2001 RBSP, SANDAG is embarking on a second RBSP in the summer of 2012 to replenish eight receiver sites. It is believed that smallscale projects, such as maintenance efforts and opportunistic nourishment, along with intermittent large-scale projects, such as SANDAG’s 2001 and 2012 RBSPs, will aid the region in maintaining and restoring the region’s beaches into the future.
BOLSA CHICA WETLANDS RESTORATION: A COASTAL JEWEL RESTORED
R. Boudreau, W. Jin, R. Sloop, M. Breitenstein, M. McCarthy, and T. McMahon
The Bolsa Chica Lowlands is a 485-hectare wetlands site in the Southern California Bight. Prior to restoration, the majority of the site was degraded wetland which had been cut off from tidal influence since 1899 and used primarily as a center for oil extraction operations. Functioning wetland was found only in Inner Bolsa Bay, immediately west of the Lowlands, which had been established as an ecological reserve in 1973 and managed by the California Department of Fish and Game. In 1996, eight state and federal agencies generated an interagency agreement to establish a project for wetlands acquisition and restoration at the Bolsa Chica Lowlands. The project involved creation of a Full Tidal Basin (FTB), Muted Tidal Basins (MTBs), and elevated nesting areas along with construction of a tidal inlet under the existing Pacific Coast Highway north of Huntington Mesa. The inlet is stabilized in-place by stone jetties, with a new bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and a dedicated oil services bridge to allow access to a portion of the still-active oil field. Design challenges included balancing construction and maintenance costs with habitat restoration goals, inlet and jetty dimensions sufficient for adequate tidal exchange, groundwater and flood control, as well as a need to minimize impacts to the surrounding shoreline. Construction challenges included avoidance of existing site biological resources, extensive dewatering and sediment plume management, soil densification prior to bridge pile driving, traffic management, and large machinery operation within the beach swash zone. Maintenance dredging was foreseen as a necessary element of the approved project design to ensure adequate tidal exchange. Two dredging events, in 2009 and 2011, have occurred since restoration activities ended. Post-construction monitoring is being conducted of the tidal basin, flood shoal, beach width, and biological resources. Monitoring results overall indicate that critical hydrodynamics to support habitat have been achieved without negative physical impacts. Bird and fish species have increased significantly in both number and species diversity over their pre-restoration populations. This project received the first Project Excellence Award from COPRI (Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute) of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2008.
COASTAL OBSERVATIONS: STATE OF THE GREAT LAKES
Jonathan Shabica, John Ehret, and Charles Shabica
With over 5,500 cubic miles of fresh water and more than 10,000 miles of shoreline, the Great Lakes comprise the greatest single natural resource in North America. The following is an update of Great Lakes issues facing the U.S. and Canada. This compilation covers several issues that could greatly impact the Great Lakes in the coming years. While they seem at first to be separate issues, they are in fact all related. The first topic is a plan to engineer the separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi Watershed to help protect the Great Lakes from ecological damage that may result from the invasion of non-native species. Such a project has implications for coastal management, coastal laws, and coastal processes. Related issues are water quality, global warming and changing lake levels. Our understanding of these is all in transition, as noted in the following excerpts. The material does not necessarily represent the personal views of the team who compiled the information; however, it provides the reader with a better understanding of these issues and with the possible changes facing the Great Lakes.
O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS: AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL KOMAR
BOOK REVIEW: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE SOUTHEAST COAST & GULF OF MEXICO: COASTAL HABITATS, SEABIRDS, MARINE MAMMALS, FISH, & OTHER WILDLIFE By Noble Proctor and Patrick Lynch, illustrated by Patrick Lynch
Reviewed by Brad Pickel
THE 80-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE ON SHORE & BEACH: THE JOHNSON AND WIEGEL YEARS Lesley C. Ewing and Robert L. Wiegel
COASTAL FORUM: BEACH RENOURISHMENT By James R. Houston Reprinted from Shore & Beach, Vol. 63, No. 1, January 1995