State of the Beach/State Reports/AK/Beach Fill

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According to State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs (NOAA, 2000):

"The state does not have a beach nourishment policy. Man-induced erosion has yet to become a major problem because of the small percentage of inhabited coastline. In areas already developed, structural solutions to erosion may be most appropriate for economic and social reasons since these areas may not be able to accommodate the non-structural solutions which would otherwise be preferred. In areas where development is imminent or anticipated, either structural or non-structural solutions may be applied depending on circumstances and conditions (Alaska Coastal Management Program, Shoreline Erosion Planning Process).

Related Policies

Near Shore Sand Mining Regulations

Standards of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 6, §80.110(b) Mines and Mineral Processing. Allows sand and gravel extraction from coastal waters, intertidal areas, barrier islands and spits only where no feasible and prudent alternative exists to meet the public need for the sand or gravel.

Dredge and Fill Regulations

Standards of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 6, §80.040(2) Coastal Development. The discharge of dredged or fill material into coastal waters must, at minimum, comply with the standards contained in Parts 320-323, Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations.

Public Access Regulations

Standards of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 6, §80.060(b) Recreation. Districts and state agencies shall give high priority to maintaining and where appropriate, increasing public access to coastal water.

There is no state funding program for beach nourishment."

Federal law requires landowners to apply for a permit from the Corps of Engineers (Corps) to place fill in intertidal waters. The corps does not evaluate the applications on how well they would work. Its main concern is if the project complies with the Clean Water Act or the Rivers and Harbors Act.

Information on beach fill policies in Alaska was not readily available. Beach fill has not been widely used in the state. Beach fill in Barrow has met with limited to minimal success. Any beach fill projects would likely be authorized through dredge and fill and land use permits.

Laws or regulations potentially applicable to beach fill projects include:


An inventory of beach fill projects in Alaska was not found.

The Fiscal Year 2017 Civil Works Budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides $4.62 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program. This budget lists proposed projects and the associated budget justification by state.

State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs: A National Overview (2000) is a report NOAA/OCRM that provides an overview of the problem of beach erosion, various means of addressing this problem, and discusses issues regarding the use of beach nourishment. Section 2 of the report provides an overview of state, territorial, and commonwealth coastal management policies regarding beach nourishment and attendant funding programs. Appendix B provides individual summaries of 33 beach nourishment programs and policies.

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