“Beach Scraping,” usually by heavy machinery, transfers sand from the lower beach to the upper beach, re-distributing the sand to parts of the beach above tidal level. This method can speed rebuilding of the dunes following a storm event and can also help prevent wave overtopping and flooding.
At a glance, beach scraping may seem like a quick fix for damaged dunes. However, plowing sand from the shore toward the dune can, if not carefully managed, put the shoreline at greater risk of deterioration. The pitch, slope and quantity of sand must all be in alignment. It is unlikely that beach scraping will be used as a tool going forward. We have learned that a graduated slope for the beach ending with a pitched dune that includes a 15” foot high plateau will handle storm surges more effectively. Water and sand can move up and over a gradually pitched beach and dune while leaving most of the sand intact.