Title

Elevated Sedimentation on Coral Reefs Adjacent to a Beach Nourishment Project

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2010

Publication Title

Marine Pollution Bulletin

Keywords

Animals, Anthozoa, Bathing beaches, Environmental remediation/adverse effects, Geologic sediments/analysis, Time factors

ISSN

0025-326X

Volume

60

Issue/No.

2

First Page

261

Last Page

271

Abstract

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.

Comments

©2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Additional Comments

NOAA grant #: NA07NOS4000200

DOI

10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.08.032

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