Jeopardizing the environment with beach nourishment

Sci Total Environ. 2023 Apr 10;868:161485. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.161485. Epub 2023 Jan 10.


Beach nourishment is not a permanent solution against beach erosion, as periodic renourishment will be needed to maintain its effectiveness. Numerous publications show that it may potentially affect the entire marine ecosystem, yet it is still being implemented nowadays, and its use is predicted to expand. The environmental impacts of beach nourishment are often underestimated or neglected. Thus, a thorough understanding of how beach nourishment affects the environment is needed to answer the question "Is beach nourishment a less impacting strategy for opposing coastal erosion?". This article compiles key findings from published studies, highlighting how nourishment activities disturb and alter the surrounding environment at both borrow and nourished sites. Present findings highlight the need for coastal practitioners and researchers to prudentially consider the sustainability of beach nourishment as a coastal protection measure, in light of its irreversible deleterious impacts on the environment.

Keywords: Beach restoration; Ecological impact; Sandy beach; Shoreline replenishment; Soft structures.

Publication types

  • Review