Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Building A Bigger Sandbox

You always hear about beach replenishment projects, where sand is brought in from somewhere else and used to widen popular strands. But you never get to see these projects in action. You leave the narrow beach one summer, and return a year later to find a much different playground.

And so, this year, during a mid-winter weekend getaway, we got to see what the scene actually looks like, up close and in person.

The vessel that carries a mixture of sand and water to a location a couple hundred yards offshore, where it links up with a pipe anchored in place just for the occasion.

The metal piping that the mix is pumped into, toward the beach, making a right-angle turn once it reaches the shore, then sloshing through to the endpoint.

The endpoint, which, as we watched over the course of several days, moves ever-northward up the coast, as the beach gets wider in segments.

The sand and water gushing out of the pipe, into a cage, where it crashes around and is dispersed, building a beach in all directions.

The guards who make sure no one trespasses into the work zone. Z trespassed once, as I tossed our Georgetown Prep Nerf ball a bit too far. Julie did as well, running along the shoreline, unaware that she was in the wrong, until the guard deployed her air horn, catching my attention and starting me off, gesticulating and screaming at Julie to turn around.

Enjoy the beach in this summer!



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