Sand Mine

by Meredith Haas After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, bulldozers, trucks, dredges, and barges were put to use hauling sand from every available source to restore beaches that protected waterfront properties and infrastructure, as well as critical habitats along the Atlantic coast. While Rhode Island was spared the worst as the storm turned toward New Jersey, the 5-foot storm surge and 15-foot waves still caused some hefty damage to exposed areas—primarily in Westerly, where the badly damaged Misquamicut State Beach was replenished in 2014 with more than 84,000 cubic yards of sand trucked in from an inland quarry in Charlestown. It was one the most extensive beach restoration efforts in Rhode Island and it most likely won’t be the last one. Rhode Island, however, is running out of sand and gravel options for similar large-scale projects in the future, says Grover Fugate, director of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC). He explains that the state has moved to evaluate offshore sand resources as an option for beach restoration because while inland resources may be abundant, “a vast majority of sand and gravel assets are tied up in areas that are either land trusts or state parks, which are unlikely to … Continue reading Sand Mine