Northeastern Section - 49th Annual Meeting (2325 March)

Paper No. 55-5
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:35 PM

PLYMOUTH LONG BEACH, MA AND WINTHROP BEACH, MA: AN ANALYSIS OF COASTAL PROTECTION PROJECTS


MENDIETA, Jorge L. and DOMACK, Cynthia R., Department of Geosciences, Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323, cdomack@hamilton.edu
Coastal protection projects at two Massachusetts sites, Plymouth Long Beach and Winthrop Beach, were investigated and compared. Beach erosion and shoreline recession are common problems along several East Coast beaches, including these Massachusetts sites. Hard structures, including groins, jetties, breakwaters, and seawalls, are the primary means of coastal protection at both Plymouth Long Beach and Winthrop Beach. However, soft protection (i.e. beach nourishment) has also been employed at these sites. Coastal management at Plymouth Long Beach is currently focused on the maintenance of the hard structures, rather than further nourishment projects. Coastal management at Winthrop Beach, in contrast, is currently focused on a second beach nourishment project (the first having occurred in 1959). The difference in strategy is due to the fact that the hard structures currently in place at Winthrop Beach have not been sufficient to prevent recent flood and storm damage. With current global climate change causing an increase in storm frequency, both sites require monitoring and maintenance in their respective management projects to prevent further beach erosion.