Downdrift Effects of Navigation Structures on the California Coast

by James R. Walker, Moffatt & Nichol Engineers, Long Beach, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


The impacts of navigation structures on adjacent beaches has been an important aspect of coastal engineering. The modern day birth of coastal engineering in the United States is considered by many to have occurred in the 1930's as a result of studies of the erosion induced on beaches by construction of Santa Barbara Harbor. This example is often held up today as a prime example of how navigation improvements have had adverse impacts on adjacent beaches. Coastal engineers, planners, managers and legislators have recognized the importance of potential impacts of structures on beaches and require careful analysis of projects. This paper covers a broad history of a few often cited projects along the California coast to draw some broad conclusions regarding the cause of the impacts and the solutions which have been implemented to mitigate for the impacts.

Subject Headings: Navigation (waterway) | Coastal environment | Project management | Offshore structures | Environmental issues | Ports and harbors | Managers | Legislation | California | United States

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