Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beach erosion

I ventured out to the beach this week after my friend Scottie told me how much beach erosion had taken place in the past few months. In addition to the low temps we've had this winter, we've also been subjected to periods of very high wind and surf. Just last Sunday the wind gusts were up to 42 mph here on Pensacola Beach.

Beach erosion such as this is inevitable on a barrier islands. Breaking waves sweep sand from one area of the island to another - eroding in spots and depositing it in other. Basically we live on an oversized sandbar. Sadly, this portion of the beach is where we generally have a loggerhead nest in the summer.

Island trivia: Did you know that our island is moving west by several inches each year. In the mid-1800's the tip of Santa Rosa Island was 500 feet west of the fort. Today the tip of the island is 4,000 ft. west of Ft. Pickens!

You may click HERE to see an engraving of Ft. Pickens which was done by a Mrs. Gilman and published in Harper's Weekly, February 23, 1861.


Jeff Wignall said...

Hi DJ,

Oh, I hate to see beaches erode like that--it can change the face of a landscape forever.

Seems the whole east coast really took a beating this winter and spring. New England is enduring the worst floods in 100 years--and we've had (in Connecticut) the rainiest March ever recorded--about 11 inches.

If you have any friends that are New England ex-pats, they can see some flooding videos at: (New England Cable News). It's a real mess and the President toured Massachusetts' damage today.


Anonymous said...

I've been camping at ft pickens for over 30 years and have seen the
beach around the fort slowly disappearing to where it's just about gone. The road to the fort is under water every high tide, now.
there are times when you can't leave the campground after a rainy