The original Rip Rap was put in 1983. It was extended again in 1993 and in 1996.
It is clear that the beach continues to erode, based on the many extensions of the rip-rap. Where ever there is rip-rap there is passive erosion. Passive erosion is the shoreline’s long-term net erosion; the shoreline will eventually migrate landward beyond the structure. The effect of this migration will be the gradual loss of beach in front of the rip-rap as the water deepens and the shore face and moves landward….while private structures may be temporarily saved, the public beach is lost. This process of passive erosion is the result of fixing the position of the shoreline on an otherwise eroding stretch of coast. This rip rap does not allow high water to release into low lying areas like it naturally would, and is forcing water to go other places like Ocean Street.
The most important thing to remember is that rip-rap is never placed to protect the beach but rather to protect property from eroding. The intelligent action would be to move the building away from the ocean. Unfortunately, what happens is to armor the coastline with rocks, concrete and steel. This does not protect or maintain the beach…it only protects the buildings.
Millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted subsidizing beachfront buildings. Federal flood insurance and expensive Army Corps of Engineer projects have done very little to make oceanfront buildings safe and have hastened beach erosion. In many cases, it would be more cost-effective for taxpayers to have the government buy the coastal property, condemn the buildings and allow the area to act as a buffer between the ocean and the remaining buildings.
Rip-rap can cause increased erosion in adjacent areas of the beach that do not have seawalls. This so-called “flanking erosion” takes place at the end of the rip-rap. Wave energy can be reflected from the seawall sideways along the shore, causing coastal bluffs without protection to erode faster.
Erosion is a process/fact, not a problem. Beaches are dynamic and natural. Buildings, bridges and roads are static. The problem occurs when there is a static structure built on a dynamic, moving beach. If buildings and roads were not built close to the shore, we would not have to worry about shoreline structures or sand erosion.
Who would be held responsible when the expansion of this rip-rap erodes more beach, forcing the water to migrate further inland following the small streams behind the homes in Kla Ha Nee. Will more rip-rap need to be placed behind these homes to keep the waves from eroding the sand behind them? I have been watching the existing rip-rap for 25 years. It looks ok for a few years and then the river and ocean compromise it again and again. The rip-rap is also sinking into the sand, disappearing and losing its effectiveness.
I am asking the district manager to drop this project for all the above reasons. It’s a waste of time and money and ruins the natural state in which nature was supposed to be,