Genius Solution Considered for the Disappearing Sands of Florida
Oct 25, 2013 October 25, 2013
With some 663 miles of pristine beaches, Florida has been a haven for tourists for years. Unfortunately, that tourist haven may now be at risk due to a lack of sand. As inconceivable as it might seem, many beaches along the coastline are rapidly running out of sand.
The problem is a culmination of a number of issues, including a rising sea level, erosion from tides and storms, and the construction of structures such as jetties directly on the beach. Consequently, large chunks of many beaches in Florida are now being swallowed. Warning signs have now become a familiar sight to beachgoers.
For many years, communities situated along the Atlantic coastline have attempted to repair the situation by dredging sand off-shore and relocating it to the beaches. After decades of this practice, Floridians are now running out of the precious commodity offshore, as well. This has left a dire situation that could result in disastrous consequences. While part of the concern is that with a lack of beaches, tourists may turn elsewhere.
There is also a much more serious concern. While the beaches in Florida certainly provide a draw for tourists, they also serve as critical storm damage reduction, serving to protect from loss of property and life. As a result, it is imperative that Florida find a solution for replenishing the lost sand. One idea considered was to ship sand in from the Bahamas. With that option being quickly deemed as too expensive, a new and somewhat revolutionary solution is now under consideration.
Crushed glass may soon prove to be just the miracle that Florida needs to shore up its beaches. As radical as the idea might at first appear to be, it makes a lot of sense when one stops to consider that glass actually comes from sand. When used recycled glass bottles are crushed and ground to a fine granular substance, the final result is practically indistinguishable from sand. Along with presenting a much more economically feasible option than shipping sand in from the Bahamas, this genius solution also presents the ultimate recycling effort. Broward County is just one county now seriously considering this solution.