Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Building Beaches

PostedMay 27, 2005

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Ocean City and the surrounding beaches are on delicate barrier islands that would naturally change shape through the years.  But experts say urbanization has interrupted sand flows.  Now the land isn't just changing, it's going away.  Ironically, the erosion is even worse for less developed Assateague Island.  Sand that would normally flow to it was diverted by jetties built near Ocean City in the 1930s.  So engineers are "re-nourishing" both beaches with sand from shoals a few miles offshore.  They use complex modeling to determine the best grain size, placement, and seasonal timing to support Assateague's wildlife and Ocean City's sunbathers.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.