Sandbridge named one of America’s Best Restored Beaches

Posted at 2:24 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 14:24:01-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Sandbridge has been named one of the Best Restored Beaches of 2017 by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.

The group released their annual list on Monday.

The ASBPA created the award to highlight the value of restored beaches. They have also created a Beach Nourishment Database to provide info on U.S. beach nourishment projects at the national, state and project level.

The 2017 winners are:

  • Dauphin Island, AL
  • Phipps Ocean Park, Palm Beach, FL
  • Popponesset Spit, MA
  • Prime Hook Beach, DE
  • Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach, VA

“This year’s Best Restored Beach winners represent a wide variety of beach types that offer unique and varied attributes. I congratulate the winners for their hard work and for the beautiful beaches they have protected and enhanced,” said ASBPA President Tony Pratt. “For more than 50 years, beach restoration has been the preferred method of shore protection in coastal communities. Beach restoration is the process of placing beach-quality sand on dwindling beaches to reverse or offset the effects of erosion.”

The ASBPA wrote the following overview of Sandbridge:

This renourishment project is located in the city of Virginia Beach and has been re-nourished four times since 1998. An estimated 7.8 million cubic yards of sand have been placed on five miles of beach with a total known cost of $43.8 million.

This project shows how a town, private landowners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) can come together to protect houses; and that a community can find creative ways to fund their share of the project by creating a local tax district. The community could have armored the shoreline with higher seawalls and rip-rap, but choose instead to undertake a beach nourishment project to restore their beach.

The restored beach has increased the coastal resiliency of this shore while returning much needed sand to the littoral system. Prior to the restoration, there was no high-tide beach along this section of shoreline. The residents and the city proactively worked with the USACE to develop a federal project that not only restored the beach and dune ecosystem but dramatically reduced property damage and loss from severe storms.