Florida's West Coast inlets: shoreline effects and recommended action

Dean, Robert G. and O'Brien, M. P. (1987) Florida's West Coast inlets: shoreline effects and recommended action. Gainesville, FL, Department of Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering, University of Florida, (UFL/COEL, 87/018)

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This report responds to the 1986 Beaches Bill which, in recognition of the potential deleterious impact on Florida's beaches of inlets modified for navigation, mandated a study of those inlets with identification of recommended action to reduce the impacts. This report addresses west Coast inlets; East Coast inlets are the subject of a companion report. There are 37 inlets along that portion of Florida's West Coast commencing from Pensacola Bay Entrance to Caxambas Pass at the south end of Marco Island. Compared to those on the East Coast, most West Coast inlets have not had the deleterious effects on the adjacent beaches, yet all modified inlets without proper management have the potential of impacting unfavorably on the adjacent shorelines. Moreover, at present there is interest in opening three West Coast entrances which either have been open in the past (Midnight Pass) or which have opened occasionally (Navarre Pass and Entrance to Phillips Lake). A review of inlets in their natural condition demonstrates the presence of a shallow broad outer bar across which the longshore transport Occurs. These shallow and shifting bar features were unsuitable for navigation which in many cases has led to the deepening of the channels and fixing with one or two jetty structures. Inlets in this modified state along with inappropriate maintenance practices have the potential of placing great ero$ional stress along the adjacent beaches. Moreover. channel dredging can reduce wave sheltering of the shoreline by ebb tidal shoals and alter the equilibrium of the affected shoreline segments. The ultimate in poor sand management practice is the placement of good quality beach sand in water depths too great for the sand to reenter the longshore system under natural forces; depths of 12 ft. or less are considered appropriate for Florida in order to maintain the sand in the system. With the interference of the nearshore sediment transport processes by inlets modified for navigation, if the adjacent beaches are to be stabilized there must be an active monitoring program with commitment to placement of dredged material of beach quality on shoreline segments of documented need. Several East Coast inlets have such transfer facilities; however. the quantities of sand transferred should be increased. Although an evolution and improvement in the technical capability to manage sand resources in the vicinity of inlets is expected, an adequate capability exists today and a concerted program should be made to commence a scheduled implementation of this capability at those entrances causing greatest erosional stress on the adjacent shorelines. A brief summary review for each of the 37 West Coast inlets is presented including: a scaled aerial photograph, brief historical information, several items related to sediment losses at each inlet and special characteristics relevant to State responsibilities. For each inlet, where appropriate, the above infor~tion is utilized to develop a recommenced action. (PDF has 101 pages.)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Florida's West Coast inlets: shoreline effects and recommended action
Personal Creator/Author:
Dean, Robert G.
O'Brien, M. P.
Series Name: UFL/COEL
Number: 87/018
Date: 1987
Publisher: Department of Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Funders: Division of Beaches and Shores, Florida Department of Natural Resources
Issuing Agency: Oceanographic Engineering Program, Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bypassing; Entrances; Inlets; Florida
Subjects: Oceanography
Item ID: 1695
Depositing User: Stephanie Haas
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2008 19:31
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 20:11
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/1695

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