PR1 TION 01 OIFBRA AIM -M WION D0 FRIDAY
Florida and beaches go together. ihat people all over this country and all
over the world know about Florida is, first of all, "beaches".
Florida has a very long shoreline, about 1,300 miles of general shoreline,
not including Islands, ad mo less than 800 miles are sandy beaches. These beaches
are without doubt some of the finest and cleanest beaches in existence. Without the
very extensive beaches which the state possesses it is very doubtful whether the warm
climate alone would attract nearly as many winter residents and tourists from the north
and from.all over the werld. Not only are the beaches an economic asset because of the
resorts which they have been able to develop, but they are also a source of health and
recreation for a large proportion of the permanent residents of the state.
No less than one-third of the income in Florida comes from tourists and
statistics show that the tourist business is developing very fast. Also more and more
people are establishing permanent baes in Florida. In the period 1950-1954 the annual
increase in population was about 00,000 or roughly 7 per cent of the population.
The above mentioned facts describe better than anything else the big inpor-
tanes of the Florida beaches for the State of Florida.
THE PRESMT SITUATION IN RK GD TO BgOSION
In order to understand the present situation in regard to beach erosion in
Florida, it might be worthuldle to consider Floridats beach geology.
Florida was built up of sand on the top of a footing of limeatone. The sand
material for this process cae from the Appalachian Highland where it was first carried
to the sea by rivers ad stremas and then drifted southward along the shoreline by the
action of waves and currents. Inland in Florida we find the enormous systems of old
beach ridges which indicate how Florida was built up as a huge recurred spit. when the
sea withdrew during the last glacial stage it never rose again to a level higher than
its preset one, but a period of erosion of the shorelines started. he eroded material
drifted along the shoreline and some of it was deposited in barriers, spits, reourved
spits, and towbolos.
Beach erosion is caused by the action of waves and currents which bmve the
material along the shore in the so-called littoral drift. Wave action is almost always
the predominant factor on the open sea shore while currents play an important role at
channels ad inlets.
Brosion starts when more material is carried away fros a oeamsl area than is
deposited within the same area. One can distinguish between the natural erosion which
is a result of a long-range geological and climatological develop~ant y watch land and
water masses are still trying to find a balance. Such.erosion is gener sUy father slow
and is demonstrated by a recession of the shoreline of less than one foot per year. In
Florida we find such erosion on the Atlantic Coast between Harineland and Daytona Beach,
which is fairly stable even if erosion occurs at some places. Unfortunately it is very
easy to disturb the natural balance. Nature does it sometimes itself when inlets break
through barriers, e.g. Ponce de Leon Inlet on the Atlantic Coast and Longboat Pass on
the Gulf Coast. The influence of such inlets is manifested by accretion on the updrift
side encroaching upon the tidal channel, causing erosion at the downdrift shore.
This situation may worsen if the inlet is "improved" that means if a canal
is dredged across the shoal outside the inlet or when one or two jetties are built or
both. Today it is a well-known fact that the biggest enemy in the coastal protection
technology is the "improved inlet" because it interrupts the littoral drift along the
shore accumulating on one side and creates increasing erosion problems on the downdrift
Examples of this are numerous all over the world, in the United States and not
least in Florida. Even if such erosion problems usually occur as a combination of
"natural erosion" and "man-made erosion" caused by an interruption of the littoral drift
by an improved inlet, it can be said that the man-made erosion will almost always pre-
dominate and become much more serious than the natural erosion. Our problems at
Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville Beach, St. Lucie Inlet, Lake Worth Inlet, and South Lake
Worth Inlet are very illustrative examples of this unfortunate development whereby
advantages of navigation have been gained at the cost of serious erosion problems on
the downdrift side of the inlet. The shoreline at these locations has been receding
with a rate of up to 10 feet per year, and through a great number of years, land has
been lost and highways and buildings have been destroyed totally.
An eroding beach has an appearance of devastation. Scenes at Jacksonville
Beach in early 1955 show broken sea walls of various kinds, and at the same time the
stretch along the Gulf Coast at St. Petersburg showed a tragic aftermath of destroyed
groins and sea walls. In both cases the remnants of former coastal protection do much
more harm than good by causing heavy turbulence and eddies which intensify erosion.
Along many Florida shorelines there is a problem of sand drift caused by the
wind which has blown holes in the dune line. This sand drift troubles roads and prop-
erty adjacent to the coast, and it weakens the dune line. It is partly a natural
phenomenon and partly man-made because of developments in the dune line without proper
arrangements for damping the sand drift by replanting vegetation or similar arrangements.
THE PRESENT SITUATION IN REGARD TO COASTAL PROTECTION
Coastal protection often manifests itself in the configuration of the shore-
line. A headland protruding from the shoreline acts as a jetty or a groin. Islands
and reefs act as breakwaters and often cause material to be accumulated behind them
(e.g. the reefs at Cape Canaveral). Accumulations of stones from land areas which have
been eroded, or outcroppings At rock or shell act as sea walls or breakwaters (e.g.
the coquina outcroppings n W.Florida East Coast), while rivers supply material to
the beach in a way similar t8 arrangements for artificial nourishment (e.g. the rivers
Along the Florida shorelines there is not much natural coastal protection of
importance. There are no real headlands. The coquina and shell outcroppings are too
soft to form headlands but in some cases they act as sea walls or submerged breakwaters.
As a general rule, we may therefore say that the maintenance of Florida beaches depends
on the natural equilibrium between the supply of material and erosion of material which
unimproved and improved inlets have interrupted so seriously in Florida.
SAt the sanm time the situation in Florida has been that more and more beach~
have been developed creating some of our most prosperous communities. Additional
developments are hi i underway at greatly increased rates. Valuable additions are thereby
being made to the incomes and property values in the state. But the greater wirt of the
beaches in Flordda are eroding even if the rate of erosiortis vry unequally distributed
and buildings, roads and other permanent installations fronting these beaches are liable
Coastal protection in Florida has heretofore been;almst entirely in the
hands of individuals, who in too many cases have built their hesa toe close to the
shoreline. As a result very large sumes of money have been spent in some localities
for construction of protection works. On other beaches the ownera are facing the alter-
natives of complete loss of formerly valuable property, or almost ruinous expenditures
to pbotect what has been left of that property.
There has been a tendency to grasp at almost any suggested method which seems
S tb omise some success at the least cost. Types of constructions which have been
ginen up elsewhere (e.g. permeable groins) have been built in Florida recently. The
resultss have almost without exception been disappointing. There are too many examples
of such work, conceived in desperation and built with almost complete lack of knowledge
of the elements of the problem even if such knowledge is available in Florida from
city, county and consulting engineers.
There is need for a major improvement of this situation and for a research
program to cover all our beaches and for information for beach front owners and em-
nmnities on what to do and what to avoid. To meet these needs, the 1951 sessionof the
Florida Legislature made a biennium appropriation of $25,000 for the Water Survey and ; \
Research Division for studies on beach erosion problems of the whole state, and the
same amount was granted in 1955 for the same purpose to the Engineering and Industrial
Experiment Station at the University of Florida. With this money publications have
been printed and a detailed research program has been undertaken.
At present a coastal engineering laboratory is under establishment at the
Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station of the University of Florida.
THE LEGAL ASPECTS
Federal Laws Beach Erosion Board
Public Law No. 520
Public Law No. 407
Public Law No. 166
Public Law No. 727
Chapter 158 Florida Statutes 1949
IMPROV~EETS OF THE PRESENT SITUATION
Technical Improvements. It is without the scope of this report to go into
technical details but it is self-explanatory that Florida coastal protection technically
should be based on sound and recognized engineering experience and practice within this
particular field. Publications are available on this subject from the U. S. Beach
Erosion Board and from the University of Florida, and each project ought to be based on
detailed knowledge about the problem gained in field studies and if necessary -
laboratory studies. In regard to this the state will be "self-supporting" as soon as
the Coastal Engineering Laboratory of the University of Florida is fully established.
Meanwhile even the best coastal protection techniques are insufficient if they are not
supported by proper beach laws.
The sand drift from wind blown holes will have to be taken care of also. It
weakens the dune line and creates problems for highways and developed beach property.
This problem can be taken care of by replanting of the natural vegetation by sand
fences and other arrangements according to rules as mentioned under "beach laws".
IMPROVEMENTS OF LAWS
Improvements of the Federal Laws. "Newsletter" of July 15, 1956 from the
American Shore and Beach Preservation Association had the following information about
an important new bill:
"NEW BILL. H.R. 11861 (Auchencloss, N.J.) to amend Act of August 13, 1946
to extend Federal participation in the cost of protecting the shores of private as
well as publicly owned property. To House Public Works Comnittee, June 20, 1956.
"This bill rewrote H.R. 4470, which had previously been introduced by
Mr. Auchencloss and others, and on which hearings had been held in February. It incor-
porated features recommended in the hearings and elsewhere by the Army and witnessed
before committee. It was reviewed bristly by the Army and accepted, and reported out
of committee on June 29. It came up on the consent calendar in the House on Monday,
"(c) When in the opinion of the Chief of Engineers the most suitable and
economical remedial measures would be provided by periodic beach nourishment, the term
construction may be construed for the purposes of this Act to include the deposit of
sand fill at suitable intervals of time to furnish sand supply to protect shores for a
length of time specified by the Chief of Engineers.
"(d) Shores other than public may be eligible for Federal assistance if there
is benefit such as that arising from public use or from the protection of nearby public
property or if the benefits to those shores are incidental to the project, and the
Federal contribution to the project shall be adjusted in accordance with the degree of
(Provisions regarding adoption of plan by Congress after study by the Beach
Erosion Board, and payments are as before.)
The bill passed the Senate on July 25 and was signed by the President on
July 28, 1956.
The above bill introduces the following changes in the Act of 1946 (P.L. 727):
1. Shores of Territories and possessions are now specifically mentioned.
2. "Restoration" of shores has been included instead of "improvement"of
3. Provision has been made for accepting periodic nourishment of beaches
as a limited form of "construction".
4. All shores are eligible for Federal assistance according to the public
benefits provided. This provision is stated rather broadly and nuch will
July 2, and was passed. In view of the importance of this bill, the principal features
are quoted below.
"That (a) with the purpose of preventing damage to the shores of the United
States, its territories and possessions and promoting and encouraging the healthful
recreation of the people, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States,
subject to the following provisions of this Act to assist in the construction, but not
the maintenance, or works for the restoration and protection against erosion, by waves
and currents, of the shores of the United States, its territories and possessions.
"(b) The Federal contribution in the case of any project referred to in sub-
section (a) shall not exceed one-third of the cost of the project, and the remainder
shall be paid by the state, municipality, or other subdivision in which the project is
,-.~--l~i~i~-.- -~--.- -- .~. -- --------
1 I-; *- :---~ .--- I
be left to the judsgnt of the Beach Erosion Board in making recommenda-
tions to Congress.
5. As before, no Federal contribution shall be made unless the plan has
been specifically adopted and authorized by Congress. This implies
that presently authorized payment will not be made to benefit protection
of privately owned shores unless the benefits are reappraised and addi-
tional payments authorized by Congress.
The importance of this bill is obviously great in regard to conditions in
Florida. Technically, item (c) is very important for conditions in the state because
re-establishment and maintenance of the natural balance en littoral drift coast is a
necessity here where numerous inlets, unimproved as well as improved, have interrupted
the balance seriously. The only way to restore the balance is by artificial nourish-
Politically the importance of item (d) is self-explanatory and no state of
the U. S. should be able to benefit so mch from this law as Florida.
LAWS IW OI R STAES AND COIWISS
The United States. There is a great difference in the beach
law in the various states within the U. S. Some states, e.g. Georgia, Louisiana,
Maine, New IHpshire and Oregon have no beach laws at all while a few other states
have developed their own laws, sometimes to a high degree of efficiency.
In the State of Massachusetts it is up to the Department of Public Works to
undertake such construction and work for the iproveaent, development, maintenance and
protection of and shores along a public beach as it deems reasonable and proper. The
Department makes surveys and improvements for the preservation of harbors and may re-
pair damages occasioned by storms or other destructive agencies along the coast line.
On shore protection work it has been the policy of the Departent to require
a contribution of 50 per cent of the cost from the local municipality involved. It is
the policy of the Department to require that a municipality petition for the work and
then a public hearing is held. The maicipality executes an indemnity agreement re-
leasing the Department from possible damage claims which might result from the work.
In the State of New York the superintendent of public works is authorized to
construct bulkheads, groins, jetties, fills and other works, and improvements upon lands
and lands under water owed by any county, city, town or village along the different
shorelines in the state. Plans, specifications and estimates of the cost of construc-
tion for any works or improvements shall be prepared by the superintendent of public
works after the adoption of a resolution by an affirmation vote of a majority of the
governing board or body of such municipality requesting such action and stating that it
is the intention to participate in the cost of such construction or improvement.
SAll such work or improvements shall be constructed by contract let by the
state superintendent of public works according to soe general rules. If the superin-
tendent deem it to be in the interest at the public, he may contract with the
municipality to have the employees thereof prepare plans, specifications, cost estimates,
engineering and inspection service, to have the forces and equipment thereof perform
such work of construction, and to purchase the material upon such terms as he may deem
advantageous to the state. The cost of construction of any such works or improvements
shall be paid in the first instance by the state from money appropriated therefore. The
municipality shall later on reimburse the state to the extent of 50 per cent of such
The state is in no way liable for any damages which result from the erection
of such works or improvements or for any damages arising out of the construction, re-
construction, maintenance or repair thereof.
If the federal government undertakes the construction it takes over the
functions of the superintendent of public works. However, the usual state funds are
available for paying the state's share if any of the costs of any studies, works, or
improvements made or undertaken by the federal government are in connection with any
such project. The superintendent is authorized and directed to accept on behalf of the
state such federal money, aid and assistance, to sign all necessary agreements therefore
provided the state's contribution is not in excess of the amounts appropriated by the
state for such projects.
In the State of Ohio the law says that the Division of Shore Erosion shall
act as the erosion agency of the state and cooperate with the Beach Erosion Board in
carrying out investigations and studies of beach erosion problems. The state through
the chief of the Division may enter into agreements with counties, municipal corpora-
tions, townships, park boards, and conservancy districts for the purpose of constructing
and maintaining projects to prevent, correct, and arrest erosion.
The cost of such shore erosion projects which are for the benefit of public
littoral property shall be prorated on the basis of two-thirds of the total cost to the
state through appropriations granted to the division, and one-third of the cost to the
county authorities, municipal corporations, conservancy districts, or other political
subdivisions. If the project is designed for the sole benefit of privately owned
littoral property, the cost shall be prorated on the basis of two-thirds of the total
cost to such political subdivisions and one-third of the cost to the state.
If a shore erosion emergency is declared by the natural resources commission
of Ohio, the state, acting through the Division of Shore Erosion, may spend whatever
state funds are available to alleviate shore erosion, without participation by any local
political subdivision, regardless whether the project will benefit public or private
No person may build or construct a beach or erect groins or other structures
necessary to arrest erosion or remove sand, gravel, or stones from and under the bed of
the lakes without first obtaining a permit or lease therefore from the chief of the
Division of Shore Erosion.
In the State of California the Department of Public Works shall study the
beach erosion problems and cooperate with all government, federal, state, and local
agencies for the purposes of beach erosion control and stabilization of beaches. It
shall act in an advisory capacity on beach erosion control and stabilization of beaches
and shore line areas when requested by any public agency of the state, or by any agency
of the federal government. It shall prepare plans for and construct such works when
state funds are made available.
Denark. In Deark the so-called coast commission under the Ministry of
Public Works can forbid any removal of beach material from a beach. All coastal
Structures outside the highwater line shall be approved by the Ministry of Public Works.
The state contributes to erection of coastal structures according to a special act in
each particular case. The contribution depends on the actual value of the property or
buildings which shall be protected. When the public interest is great the state con-
tributes 100 per cent. If other interests are involved the state will occasionally
contribute 50 per cent but usually only one-third under the assumptions that the rest
of the money is raised by the other interests involved, e.g. one-third to county and
one-third to private interest. In such case it is usually a requirement that the beach
is made open for public use. In the case of cities the city often contributes 100 per
Holland. In HoJad the Ministry of 'Waterstaat" has the supervision of all
coastal protection works. The management of part of these works is in the hands of
uwaterschappen," which are similar to the Erosion Prevention Districts in Florida. All
new coastal protective structures are to be approved by the county authorities, which
have their own hydraulic engineering divisions, or by the Ministry of "Waterstaat".
In some cases the state and county will contribute in the cost of new
THE FLORIDA SITUATION
Proposed itaroveaents of the Florida Law. the purpose of this report is to
make certain suggestions which might help to improve the present situation in regard
to action against problems of beach erosion in Florida.
Our present laws would probably have functioned excellently if it were not
for the time element involved, but beach erosion problems in Florida often arise in a
hurry. The reason for this is partly that the serious erosion in Florida is caused by
unexpected severe storms and hurricanes and is partly a result of the way the Florida
beaches have been and are being developed. 'he tendency to develop areas too close to
t be shore line is an important factor. When it appears that there is a problem certain
measures are often hurriedly taken and are usually inadequately so that the first storms
S destroy the structures and the problem is suddenly "acute".
The problem we are facing is to adjust the present laws to the actual situa-
tion in 1956 and in the future.
As mentioned in earlier sections there are two problems-one of entirely
technical nature and one of administrative nature. The state's needs can be divided in
the following parts.
a) Need for information about the erosion problems and proper technical
advice in solving these problems.
b) Need for a proper beach preservation law.
c) Need for a proper coastal protection law.
SRe: a) In regard to information about the erosion problems the federal
government through the Corps of Engineers has already made several studies in Florida
and printed reports and documents about these. Moreover the U. S. Beach Erosion Board
in Washington, D. C. has published a great number of articles of general value.
The Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station of the University of Florida
has issued publications and is now establishing its Coastal Engineering Laboratory which
will be able to handle all kinds of beach, harbor and inlet problems in Florida when
the Laboratory is equipped with wave tanks, model basins and equipment for field survey.
This Laboratory will work on contracts with federal, state, city, county and other
agencies and already has a number of contracts with such agencies.
The function of the Laboratory is to give advice based on detailed investiga-
tions and to work out general outlines of projects which can be used for detailed
design. Similar laboratories are established in Washington, D. C. and Vicksburg, Missis-
sippi by the federal government, at the University of California, at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and at four other places in this country (Iowa, Minnesota, New
York and Texas).
All the above mentioned states have a Department of Public Works or a Divi-
sion of Shore Erosion which undertakes studies of beach erosion independently or in
S connection with the Beach Erosion Board in Washington. A similar arrangement is in
Fact in existence in Florida, where the Coastal Engineering Laboratory works on a
$25,000 appropriation on beach erosion studies in Florida, and moreover works on con-
tracts with the Beach Erosion Board.
Meanwhile, no one is required to seek advice from a federal or state agency
before undertaking preventive measures. Any coastal structure in Florida can be built
without such approval. According to the federal law a permit shall be obtained from
the U. S. Army Engineers District for erection of any structure outside the highwater
line, but such permit is not identical with any approval of the design itself. Moreover,
to a certain extent this rule is disregarded in Florida. However, as soon as federal
money is involved such approval is necessary. As mentioned above in Massachusetts, New
York, Ohio and California, the state designs and constructs coastal protection struc-
tures in cooperation with federal, state, county or municipal agencies.
In Ohio the law says clearly that no person shall build or construct a beach
or erect groins or other structures necessary to arrest erosion without first submitting
In the case of sea walls such walls will have no detrimental effect on the
neighboring property if they are property designed and correctly placed in the beach
profiles, but this is not the case in mere than 50 per cent of all such construction in
There seems to be a need for a state law to protect beach property against
erosion caused by inadequately designed coastal protection structures. This is almost
the same as to say that there is a need for a law which provides that coastal protection
structures are properly designed so that they will serve the desired purpose without
This question is further mentioned under item (c) "Coastal protection laws."
BRe b) Beach preservation laws. A proper beach preservation law would seem
to be of value in Florida even though our beaches are almost entirely sand beaches and
no gravel and stone to be removed.
Such practice in fact has already been adopted in Florida. In 1949 a special
act of the Legislature authorized the establishment of the Broward County Erosion
District in order to control removal of sand from the sea-beaches and dunes facing
the sea-beaches of that county (see Chapter 25703 Special Acts Florida Legislature,
The increasing mining of heavy minerals from the Florida beaches and dunes
may also justify such regulation.
plans therefore to the Division of Shore Erosion. If such plans are approved by the
Division it shall issue a permit to the applicant authorizing such project. As mentioned
similar laws exist in Denmark and Holland.
A reasonable approach to an answer to such questions seems to be a discussion
on the problem of: "Does the coastal structure in question do harm to property belong-
ing to somebody else?"
The situation is that any structure erected outside the line of vegetation on
the beach will influence the adjacent property, particularly on the dowadrift side, and
in the case of groins, jetties and off-shore breakwaters the effect will almost always
be detrimental if no precautions against the detrimental affect be taken; and this is
usually not the case. Sea walls will also have a detrimental effect if they are con-
structed too close to the- shore line because they will partly act as a very wide groin
and during high tides and storms are partly responsible for an extra stirring up of
material which will then be more easily lost from the beach than if there were no sea
Properly designed groups of groins whereby material can be by-passed (adjust-
able groins) or by-passing sand plants are measures against these deleterious effects.
In the case of inlets improved by dredged canals, jetties, or both, a sand by-passing
plant or similar arrangement should be required to re-establish the littoral drift.
In Ohio the law says that no person shall remove sand, gravel and stones from
S and under the bed of Lake Erie without first obtaining a permit from the Chief of the
Division of Shore Erosion. In Denmark a coast commission under the Ministry of Public
Works is authorized to forbid any removal of materials outside the line of vegetation.
Such practice could also be introduced into Florida. If the Ohio practice
were adopted it would mean that the power would be in the hands of the governor and a
state agency. The Danish practice leaves more power in the hands of the county because
two of the three commission members may be elected by the county. It seems to be a
reasonable assumption that adequate technical knowledge should be required of the
chairman of the commission who, if possible, should be a coastal engineer.
The problem of sand drift is naturally connected with the beach prevention
A law stating that it is unlawful to damage the natural vegetation of the
dunes without proper arrangements for re-establishment of the vegetation or its damping
effect seems to be justified. In the case of damaging effect on adjacent property
(including highways), the county or city board should be authorized to order such
steps to be taken as necessary to dampen the drift. Where disagreements with the prop-
erty owners arise the matter should be referred to a coast-commission as mentioned
If the sand drift does damage only to the property owners, no steps should
S be taken unless the coastal protection of such shore line is weakened. Here the matter
should be referred to the county or city board which again refers the matter to the
State Beach Erosion Agency for advice after which action should be taken and cannot be
Re: c) Coastal Protection Laws. A need appears to exist for three different
kinds of sub-laws: laws insuring properly designed coastal protection structures; laws
to permit the organization of proper beach erosion and coastal protection agencies; laws
defining state contribution to construction of coastal protection structures.
In regard to a law to insure that coastal protection structures are properly
designed this question has already been discussed under item a) where it is stated
that no coastal structure should be constructed in such way that it does harm to the
S property of others. In order to avoid such constructions it might be wise to adopt
something similar to the Ohio practice. It would be best if the line of vegetation is
established as the border line between that part of the beach where coastal structures
are approved by a state agency and that part of the beach (inside the line of vegetation)
where no approval is considered necessary. In case of federal contribution to the
S actual improvement the Corps of Engineers should always approve the design. If there
is a contribution from the state or a contribution from other public funds it seems
reasonable to let a proper state agency specializing in this field give advice or
approve the design. Where state funds are used this approval should include the design
as a whole; where city or county funds are used there should be an "obligatory advice"
on the project but the advice should be followed only if there is a question about
detrimental effects on the property of others. If private funds are involved the advice
should be followed where there is a question of the detrimental effect on other prop-
erty, while it is entirely up to the individual to follow the advice given in regard to
the detailed design.
In this way the law is made as flexible and "free" as possible.
In regard to the improved inlets (including dredged canals and jetties), it
should be of great value to have laws which make it unlawful to improve any inlet with-
out re-establishing the littoral drift with a by-passing plant or similar arranament.
This is felt to be the most important consideration in the drafting of a new law.
In order to carry out a program of this nature a proper state agency for beach
erosion and coastal protection is necessary. In Ohio the pr h ra r au triari 4,
a Division of Shore Erosion and in Massachusetts, New York an alifrnajpar nt
of Public Works. For Florida such agency should be authorized and state funds should
be made available to construct erosion-arresting structures and other protective works
along the entire coast. This includes privately owned beaches, if such measures are
necessary with respect to the protection of adjacent public beaches. A state admini-
strative agency might be able to take this over when connected with an advising agency
with personnel specializing in this particular field. Such an agency should also work
as the technical representative for the state on federal cooperative studies.
In regard to laws about organizing local beach erosion and coastal protection
agencies, it is claimed that the establishment of a beach erosion district takes too
unch time. This might be true in some cases, and it seems reasonable to distinguish
between "cases in general" and "cases of emergency". Decisions on the question of
what is an "emergency" aust also be determined by a competent state agency.
Within city limits the city should be able to handle any question itself, but
plans of any coastal protection structure outside the line of vegetation should still
be approved by a coastal engineering agency in order to assure that the structure will
have no detrimental effect.
Within county limits it might be wise to maintain the present laws, but in
cases of emergency the Board of County Commissioners should be able to handle the prob-
lem in cooperation with the state beach erosion agency. In such case a beach erosion
committee of, say, three members will be necessary and with aid from state funds it
might be satisfactory to let the chairman of such board be appointed by the governor.
These members should be as technically qualified ias possible and the chairman should be
a civil or coastal engineer. The rest of the members should be appointed by the county.
In regard to laws about state contribution to construction of coastal protec-
tion structures, some states contribute and some do not. In Massachusetts the Department
of Public Works is authorized to make surveys, improvements and repairs of beach atruc-
tures on public beaches. It is the policy of the Department to require a contribution
of 50 per cent of the cost from the local municipality involved.
- 12 -
In New York State the Superintendent of Public Works is authorized to construct
bulkheads, groins, jetties, fills and other works and improvements upon lands and lends
under ewter owned by any eunty, city, towa or village (1mnicipality). The cost of
construction of any smea works or improvements shall be paid in the first instance by
the state from moneys appropriated therefore and upon completion of such construction and
certification by the state controller of the total cost thereof, the municipality or
municipalities affected shall reimburse the state to the extent of 50 per cent of such
In the State of Ohio the cost of such shore erosion projects which are for
the benefit of public littoral property shall be prorated on the basis of two-thirds of
the total cost to the state through appropriations granted to the division, and one-
third of the cost to the county authorities, Imicipal corporations, conservancy districts,
or other political subdivisions. If the project is designed for the sole benefit of
privately omed littoral property, the cost shall be prorated on the basis of two-thirds
of the total cost to such political subdivisions and one-third of the cost to the state.
If a shore erosion emergency is declared by the Natural Resources Coaission
of Ohio, the state, acting through the Division of Shore Erosion, any spend whatever
state funds are available to alleviate shore erosion, without participation by any local
political subdivision, regardless whether the project will benefit public or private
In the State of California the Department of Public Works to the extend that
funds are available cooperates with all agencies of government, federal, state, and
local, for the purpose of beach erosion control. The Department prepares plans for and
constructs such works as its studies and investigations indicate to be necessary.
As it can be seen the practice differs widely depending on local circumstances.
The difference between the situation in the states mentioned and in Florida is that the
Florida shore lines are very long compared to the population of Florida.
Meanwhile, the situation here is that something will have to be done and it
seems to be the most reasonable approach to the problem to have some laws which are so
effective that they will improve the entire situation within a limited number of years.
This is partly a question of proper technical advice, but most of all it is
a matter of the state's interest as demonstrated in economic aid to actual construction
The most 'positive" law seems to be the one in Ohio, but if this law is
applied directly to Florida the economic consequence will be great unless it is stated
clearly that such a law (in Florida) can be applied to the extent funds are available
A discussion of possible approaches to the problem follows.
Public Beaches. If the federal government contributes to the improvement
with one-third of the cost, it seems reasonable that the state should contribute one-
third also. The local agency could contribute the last one-third.
If the federal government does not contribute, but the beaches are in public
use, it might be reasonable that the state in some cases contribute one-half of the cost
of an improvement provided the other one-half could be raised by the local agency.
Private Beaches. If the beaches are privately owned but have been in public
use through a number of years and will remain so, it might be reasonable in some cases
that the state contribute one-third to the cost of the improvement provided the local
; municipality also contributes with at least one-third of the cost.
If the beaches are owned by private owners but up to now have not been in
public use, the possibility of a contribution from the state of a certain amount not
exceeding one-third of the cost should be discussed in each separate case, provided
the public will be admitted to that part of the beach which is outside the line of
vegetation. A contribution from the local municipality of at least the same amount
might be required. If the beaches are owned by private owners and up to now have not
been in public use, and if the protection of these beaches is of value for the stability
of adjacent public beaches, a contribution from the state of a certain amount, not
exceeding one-third of the cost should be discussed.
In regard to money available for protection of beaches, the money should be
appropriated by the state legislature. It is considered very important that this be
done every year and that a certain amount of money is always available in cases of
emergency when action will have to be taken immediately or within a limited period of
SIn order to maintain Florida beaches at their high standard to the full bene-
t fit to the state, it seems to be desirable to provide technical and legal assistance.
Technically. One technical aspect would be to avoid any further damage to
beaches caused by man-made constructions. No coastal structure should be built which
S will do harm to property not belonging to the owner of the property on which the
structure is built. For this reason a proper state agency should approve all coastal
S structures which are built outside the line of vegetation. Permit from the Corps of
Engineers to build outside the highwater line should be obligatory.
In the case of public aid to the construction of coastal protection structures,
the design as a whole should be approved also. In the case of entirely privately
S financed structures, the design itself should not be approved but it should be reviewed
by the state agency without obligation to follow the advice unless the construction is
considered as being detrimental to the adjacent beaches.
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Any improvement of an inlet not including arrangements for by-passing sand
in some way or other for maintaining the beaches on the downdrift side of the inlet is
detrimental and should not be approved.
Any removal of any kind of beach material from any eroding beach or beach
which is starting to erode should be avoided.
Damping of sand drift on the beach should be provided.
A certain amount of money for research on beach erosion problems should be
made available each year.
Leg lly. It is desirable to establish the proper state laws corresponding
to the technical aspects to permit a beach erosion state agency to administer a sound
development of the coastal protection in the state.
Certain beach preservation laws which make any removal of beach material
outside the line of vegetation illegal without a proper permit from the beach erosion
agency are needed. Such permit should be issued after investigations, including a
hearing held by a coast-commission as outlined in detail above.
Certain laws giving general rules for the state's contribution to and actual
beach improvement by artificial nourishment or coastal structures are needed. A certain
amount of money should be made available for such purpose every year by the state
legislature which approves the state aid in each case. An emergency fund should be
available at all times.
Proper laws for damping of sand drift on the beach should be established, as
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