State of the Beach/State Reports/OR/Beach Fill
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State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs, A National Overview (NOAA, March 2000) provides the following information:
"The state does not have a beach nourishment policy.
Policy Citation and Description
Oregon Statewide Planning Goals and Guidelines. Goal 17: Coastal Shorelands. Or. Admin. R. 660-15. Promotes nonstructural solutions to erosion problems and calls for erosion stabilization structures to be designed to minimize adverse impacts. Implementation is impeded by lack of known design standards to minimize adverse impacts.
Near Shore Sand Mining Regulations
Oregon Statewide Planning Goals and Guidelines. Goal 18: Beaches and Dunes. Or. Admin. R. 660-15. Foredunes can only be breached to replenish sand supply in interdune areas or on a temporary basis as an emergency.
Dredge and Fill Regulations
Or. Rev. Stat. §196.800-196.990 and Or. Admin. R. 141-85. Removal-Fill Permit (R/F). Regulates removal/fill/alteration of all materials within waters of the state on the Pacific Ocean to the line of non-vegetation. Mainly applicable to new shoreline stabilizations and repairs.
Sand Scraping/Dune Reshaping Regulations
Oregon Statewide Planning Goals and Guidelines. Goal 18: Beaches and Dunes. Or. Admin. R. 660-15. Allows foredunes to be breached only to replenish sand supply in intertidal areas or temporary emergencies. Grading or sand movement to maintain views/prevent sand inundation is allowed for structures in foredunes if the area is committed to development and a management plan is developed and adopted which provides for stabilization and other conditions.
Public Access Regulations
Oregon Ocean Shores Act. Or. Rev. Stat. §390.600. Provides for public access to and recreational use of beaches.
Oregon Statewide Planning Goals and Guidelines. Goal 17: Coastal Shorelands. Or. Admin. R. 660-15. This goal requires local governments to inventory public access sites to shorelands and to retain or replace them should they be sold, exchanged or transferred.
Beach Nourishment Funding Program
There is no state funding for beach nourishment."
Oregon has policies related to beach fill that consider the potential impacts of beach fill projects on beach ecology. Fill projects must comply with standards under Goal 18 for Beaches and Dunes and the OPRD rules for Ocean Shore permits.
OPRD regulations for permitting ocean shore projects would apply any beach fill projects. Also applicable would be Oregon Coastal Management Program - Goal 17 for coastal shorelands and Goal 18 for beaches and dunes. City or county comprehensive plan policies and zoning ordinances in compliance with statewide planning goals 17 and 18 would also apply.
Criteria for ocean shore alteration permits can be found in OPRD’s administrative rules, specifically, ORS 390 and OAR 736-020 Beach Construction/Alteration Standards.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Sediment Evaluation Framework manual (2009) provides a regional framework for the assessment, characterization, and management (disposal) of sediments in the Pacific Northwest to determine suitability for unconfined in-water disposal. This document addresses the development of a comprehensive evaluation framework governing sediment sampling, testing, and test interpretation for determining the potential risk of dredged material (freshwater and marine sediments), as well as evaluating the suitability of alternative management options. The goal of this manual is to provide the technical and regulatory basis for publicly acceptable guidelines governing environmentally safe assessment and characterization of sediments, thereby improving consistency and predictability in dredged material/sediment management.
An inventory of beach fill projects in Oregon was not found. Although the state does participate in some fill projects, they believe that fill is not appropriate in most cases. Beach fill projects are rare in Oregon. Beach fill is generally limited to small-scale, local projects. Fill projects have included a pilot project to enhance snowy plover habitat at the entrance to the Rogue River in Gold Beach and another at the entrance to the Chetco River in Brookings to address erosion at the foot of the jetty. Both used dredge material spoils from the estuary channel.
The last significant fills involved Hwy. 101 emergencies, where slide material was deposited on the beach, a cobble berm nourishment project at Cape Lookout State Park, and a sand nourishment project at the Tillamook Bay North Jetty. The most recent event was during a large landslide event that closed Hwy. 101 near Port Orford. Monitoring was done to measure the lateral movement of slide material up and down the coast and affect on beach sediment profiles on nearby beaches, and biological monitoring was conducted on nearby rocky reef areas. Monitoring is generally done by DOGAMI and the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO).
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department have records of beach fill projects in database form, but not a stand-alone inventory for beach fill.
Information on beach fill in Oregon is also available through Western Carolina University's Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines. State-by-state information is available from the pull-down menu or by clicking on a state on the map on this page.
In 2017 the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) announced a new online National Beach Nourishment Database – featuring data on projects comprised of nearly 1.5 billion cubic yards of sand placed in nearly 400 projects covering the continental U.S. coastline. In addition to the total volume and the number of projects, the database includes the number of nourishment events, the oldest project, the newest project, the known total cost, the total volume and the known length. The information is broken into both state statistics and those of local or regional projects. Every coastal continental state is included (so Alaska and Hawaii are still being compiled), and projects along the Great Lakes are similarly waiting to be added.
A report National Assessment of Beach Nourishment Requirements Associated with Accelerated Sea Level Rise (Leatherman, 1989) on EPA's Climate Change Impacts and Adapting to Climate Change websites notes that the cumulative cost of sand replenishment to protect Oregon's coast from a 50 to 200 cm rise in sea level by 2100 is estimated at $61 to $336 million.
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.
- Paul Klarin, Oregon Coastal Program Coastal Planner, personal communication. July 17, 2000.
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