Beach Erosion in Florida: A Challenge for Planning and Management

by George P. Schmahl, Florida Dep of Natural Resources, Tallahassee, United States,
Edwin J. Conklin, Florida Dep of Natural Resources, Tallahassee, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


A substantial portion of the sandy beach shoreline in Florida is considered to be 'critically' eroding. 'Critical' erosion, as used by the State of Florida for beach management planning, results when there exists a threat to substantial development or recreational interests from a retreating shoreline. The erosion problem is therefore divided into two components: 1) the shoreline recession rate, and 2) beachfront development. Accordingly, the erosion problem may be addressed through the control of either the erosion rate or the control of the development along a segment of shoreline. Historically, Florida has concentrated on the erosion control component of the erosion problem, primarily through inlet management and beach restoration. The beachfront development component of the erosion problem has not been as successfully addressed. Florida must address the beachfront development issue more forcefully through statutory and policy changes or much more of the shoreline will become critically eroding in the near future.

Subject Headings: Coastal management | Erosion | Shoreline protection | Beach protection and nourishment | Beaches | Land use | Water-based recreation | Inlets (waterway) | Florida | United States

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