Miami Beach is completely out of sand! This of course is not a new development, for years the barrier island has been using reclaimed sand just offshore to replenish the sand that erodes away each year. However, the seabed off Miami is now out of sand as well, forcing officials to look for new sand sources. The Verge has an awesome article on the state of Miami Beach as well as the 825 miles of Florida beaches that have been declared “critically eroding”. Filling in that sand isn’t an easy task either:
Forget about the thousands of miles of dunes in the Sahara and Gobi — rounded by wind, those grains are too smooth. Sand made by crushing rock is too jagged. If the grains are too small, they wash away quickly; too large, and the beach becomes a steep bank. If they’re the wrong density or wrong shape — say, plate-like shards of broken shells — they’ll float in the water, causing clouds. If the sand is too dark it will trap heat, and can shift the gender of sea turtles born there.
Currently, sand from a mine one hundred miles north is trucked to the Fontainebleau parking lot before it’s eventually placed on the shores and the beach. Miami is also looking to the Bahamas, with the nearest island only 50 miles away and full of “perfect beach sand”.
The article is fascinating, take a read here.