The Coastal Star

Letter to the Editor: Visions of snorkeling over South Palm Beach

Once again we are talking about beach sand and how what one town does affects others. There is no doubt at all that the groins South Palm wants to build will prevent some sand from reaching points south. Not being a lawyer, I have no clue whether other towns have a right to that sand, which may or may not actually wind up on their shores.
    We better get used to this. I have seen severe erosion along our coast since the ’60s when A1A was washed out in north Delray Beach. For the most part, the more natural coastline maintains itself fairly well. Where you have the major issues are where seawalls line the beach, as in Manalapan, or where condos are built too far east, as in South Palm Beach. 
    Many people don’t know that new sand production was drastically curtailed in the 1930s, when the Tennessee Valley Authority was created and dams were built along the Appalachians to produce electricity. The quartz rocks that were crushed into sand as they were swept downstream — and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico — were no longer able to make that journey, and as a result much of Florida’s sand was not created anymore. 
    We can be sure that is going to be the case for any foreseeable future.
    It is probably too late for more intelligent building decisions helping this issue and it will remain an economic decision as to the value of beaches and who will pay for them.
    I have no doubt that future generations will find excellent snorkeling over some ill-fated condos, regardless of what we do.

Taylor Snow
Lantana

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