Elevated Sedimentation on Coral Reefs Adjacent to a Beach Nourishment Project
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Animals, Anthozoa, Bathing beaches, Environmental remediation/adverse effects, Geologic sediments/analysis, Time factors
An increasingly common method to restore eroding beaches is nourishment, a process by which lost sand is replaced with terrestrial or offshore sediments to widen beaches. The southeastern Florida coastline contains shore-parallel coral reef communities adjacent to eroding beaches. Scleractinian corals and other reef-associated organisms are known to demonstrate sensitivity to elevated sedimentation levels. Sediment traps were used to examine spatio-temporal sedimentation patterns and assess the effects of nourishment (dredge and fill) activities. Several environmental variables correlated with among-site spatial variability of sediment parameters. Intra-annual variability correlated with wind velocity and direction. Nourishment activities showed localized effects, with sites in close proximity to dredging areas exhibiting significantly higher collection rates and lower percent fines than control sites. A regional increase in sedimentation occurred while nourishment activities were ongoing. Due to concurrent impacts of hurricanes, only one during-construction sampling interval revealed substantially higher collection rates relative to corresponding pre-construction sampling intervals.
L. K. B. Jordan, Kenneth Banks, Louis E. Fisher, Brian K. Walker, and David S. Gilliam. 2010. Elevated Sedimentation on Coral Reefs Adjacent to a Beach Nourishment Project .Marine Pollution Bulletin , (2) : 261 -271. http://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/133.