FL - Beach renourishment: A necessary evil
Coming soon to our Manasota Key beaches: The Gulf of Mexico. Like it or not, if we don’t add more sand periodically, our beachfront homes and condos will fall into the Gulf. I’m not talking about any sea level changes or global warming here — just the normal course of shifting sands. I can’t say beach renourishment is good, but I understand it’s necessary because we built on migrating barrier islands. These islands aren’t stable. They never have been. The beaches will always be temporary.
How does this affect fishing for pompano, whiting, and other species along our beaches? No food, no fish. Let me explain. When they cover existing natural beaches with dredged spoil, the new dead sand covers up anything alive and the living bottom that naturally hold food.
We used to have millions upon millions of coquinas, sand fleas, crabs, and various small fishes thriving in the surf line. On a natural beach, wave action retains seashells and all that life. Breakers create a shelf where the returning wave action dumps its loads. It’s slightly deeper and much less turbulent than the breakers area. Fish cruise this slightly deeper line, grabbing food that retreating waves bring back from the shoreline.
I used to make my day's fishing right at this breakers line, catching many species of popular fish. In recent years, that's no long an option; it’s a dead zone after dredging.