St. Pete Beach Replenishment
Friday, August 15, 2014 | St. Pete Beach, FL

St. Pete Beach Replenishment

The latest chapter in the battle for sand

by J. Matt Buchanan

Upham Beach is constantly losing its sand to the southern portion of St. Pete Beach. It's part of a natural process that gradually pushes sand to the South along the Gulf coast. Lately, though, Upham has been cheated in the deal. Inlets and artificial structures to the North are blocking sand heading its way, preventing Upham from replacing the sand it donates to the South.

Officials compensate for this by replenishing the sand every so often. In essence, these replenishment projects artificially recreate the natural process that has been disrupted. I've always wondered about the details of the replenishment process, but was never in St. Pete Beach while one of the projects was underway.

Until this year.

I didn't get any shots of the actual work, so I'm still wondering about the details a bit. But, seeing the equipment on the beach was pretty interesting. And it provided some of the strangest sunset shots I've ever taken.

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J. Matt Buchanan