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  1. #1
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Where does Miami Beach import its sand from?

    With humor, I read about the guy that got busted in Marathon yesterday for stealing beach sand. He was drunk and his truck got stuck in the sand.

    Sand can be a high priced commodity. Lowe's sells bags for under $4 a bag. When Cancun got hit with a big hurricane, Lord knows how many millions the government pays to replace it.

    I'm sure Miami Beach as gone through the same tribulations in her history. Does anyone know the orgin of some of the sands of Miami Beach ?

  2. #2
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Arrow dreged up, sir!

    My understanding is that the goverment dreged it up from the seafloor, kinda like they did with that plam shaped man made island near saudi arabia.

    As far as I know:

    That's the fact, Jack!

    Seriously, I think this was a huge federal goverment project several decades ago.

  3. #3
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    Default Pump it up!

    Between 1972 and 1975 if I remember correctly they had a huge campaign to get rid of the private beaches which allowed the construction of the boardwalk, the beachwalk and changed the entire Miami Beach landscape. Imagine not having the walkway along the beach and everyone having to trudge up beautiful ? Collins street. They literally pumped up millions of gallons of sea water and sand which eventually resulted in beaches which were considerably deeper than what you see today. The sand was full of sea shells and was quite unpleasant to walk on and the depth was also too deep and made for very long walks to get into the water. Each season the ocean filtered the sand and took much of it back resulting in the beaches you see today which often have to be replenished to keep them from washing out entirely. The existing landscaping, seagrass, palms, etc., were all added and act as a barrier to waves which could destroy the beaches. Lummous Park was the beach area if you look at the old photographs. The Roney is one of the hotels which still has the sea wall in place which kept the ocean away from the hotel. I believe that the beach south of Lummous is mostly original but could be mistaken. The area just south of the rock barriers added a few years ago to keep the northern beaches intact was replenished two years ago and there was a ship anchored offshore which acted as a pumping station and then bulldozers and dumptrucks moved the sand to fill in the missing sand. If you use the boardwalk you can see evidence of the erosion just south of the rocks where the sea grass is missing.

    Currently the beach area at the Fountainbleu looks like it is getting too narrow and may need new sand.

  4. #4
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    Default

    When I was a kid, my parents stole a bunch of sand from Key Biscayne to build me a sandbox. True story.

  5. #5
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    UTS - When I lived in North Beach, there was a huge barge like structure out in the ocean pumping sand to be used here, I believe. If I recall correctly this was also going on in mid and South beach - all circa 2000. You could see it clearly from my apartment and the beach so it wasn't too far out in the ocean.

    Sun - the beach nourishment project took place from late 70s to early 80s, according to Wikipedia

    In many coastal areas, the recreational benefits of a wide beach can be substantial. An excellent example of this is the ten mile long Miami Beach, FL, USA project that was constructed over the period 1976 and 1981, cost approximately $64,000,000 and has revitalized the economy of this area. Prior to nourishment of the Miami Beach project, it was quite difficult to walk along many portions of this beach, especially during periods of high tide.
    Beach nourishment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Here is a pix from Wikipedia - it's incredible how little shoreline there was before the beach nourishment. This is The Castle Hotel up by Millionaire's Row. Sun you are right, that's what the strand is starting to look like around the Fountainbleau. It's very thin there.

    Name:  Beach_nourishment_slide3_pic1_(USGS).jpg
Views: 2248
Size:  18.8 KB

    Here is an article from '07 about Miami Beach importing sand from other countries: Miami Beach Battles Sand Hassle

    I'm not sure what became of that.

  6. #6
    Moderator Jess's Avatar
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    Wow, amazing photos, thanks Maria.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight Maria. The issue is more stark in the west central coastal beaches. I frequent these beaches more than any other in FL and I notice the changes ( erossions ) from one visit to the next.

    An example of beach erosion that struck home, was my little landscaping project that tried to mimic a beach. It was beautiful for about two weeks, then the erosion set in mostly caused by winds. It was all over the place. My cars, the pavers, sidewalk... etc. This happens obviously on a larger scale at a beach and mostly unnoticed, till it's time to nourish the beach again. Glad to learn the sand is dredged there on SoBe, other options might be cost prohibitive.

  8. #8
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    You're welcome, Jess!

    UTS - If I remember correctly though there was some issue with the sand dredging and how it might affect the marine life out there.

    It amazes me that so many buildings are supported by the land mass that is Miami Beach, which is nothing more than a barrier island. I was reflecting on this with a friend last night. The transience isn't just cultural.

  9. #9
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    You might be right Maria. We stayed at the Singapore at 96th street when my son, now 41, was 2. I remember the change when our youngest daughter, 6 years younger came down at 3 months for her first trip. So he was born in 1968 and she was born in 1974 so if my memory is accurate (which isn't a sure thing) that would make it 1974 for that part of the beach. I have over 2000 slides waiting to be transferred electronically which cover all these trips and the beach will show up in them as we came to Miami every year until I stupidly bought a condo in West Palm Beach in the middle of nowhere, also in a real estate bubble.

  10. #10
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Sun, I would love to have some of those images on my Vintage Miami Beach flickr group! I bet those are great.

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