Why: A common misconception is that a healthy beach only benefits wealthy landowners or beachfront businesses. Rather, wide beaches and healthy coastlines benefit entire towns by providing natural barriers that protect inland fresh water tables by preventing salination, contamination, and depletion. Beaches and dunes also act as a natural buffer zone, protecting the land, homes, and infrastructure. They serve as critical nesting areas for turtles, crabs, and a wide variety of migratory birds. Shore plants absorb CO2 and nitrogen from the air and chemical laden storm water runoff before it reaches the ocean.
Merely throwing sand onto an eroded beach does nothing but make it more aesthetically pleasing until nature quickly washes that sand back into the ocean. For every dredge that brings sand to a touristy beach, a hole is dug somewhere that destroys an ecosystem. Anyone who has ever dug a hole at a beach understands that nature quickly tries to fill in that hole. It should therefore be no surprise to beachfront homeowners living close to dredges why their beaches then quickly disappear.
How you can help: Help us urge lawmakers to allocate a portion of all money spent on dredging to fund research that find ways to work with nature, not against it, to combat erosion!