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Beach replenishment after effects on surfing in Ocean City

Posted on August 28, 2023

Beach replenishment is nothing new to beach towns like Ocean City.

The Army Corps of Engineers perform beach replenishments every four years unless a natural disaster happens and they need to do it earlier.

The last time Ocean City got replenishment was 2021 and for people who like to surf, the effects of that replenishment are well known.

Chris Shanahan is a longtime surfer and owner of K Coast Shop in Ocean City, he said the replenishment is a necessary evil.

“It seems like when the beach replenishment happens, it eliminates those sandbars and it actually creates a situation where the swells that are coming in tend to come all the way in to the actual beach to break on the beach,” Shanahan said. “Which it makes it pretty much impossible to ride as a surfer.”

While the replenishment might effect the waves for surfers, there are noticeable drop offs along some of the beach and the Ocean City Beach Patrol said the blame can’t all be put on beach replenishment.

Mike Stone, a lieutenant on the beach patrol said some things that happen with the beach are just nature.

“It’s been rough the last couple days and when the waves are breaking on shore and you have all that sand there, it’s gonna take take some of the sand away,” Stone said.

But for some like Maxwell Anderson who lives in Ocean City year round, he said the beach replenishment and the changing of the waves aren’t on his radar.

“With them replenishing the sand, to me the beach looks like it did when I moved here,” Anderson said. “But I’m not out there surfing or doing too much, I’m just sitting there enjoying the water.”

Although over time the surf has been effected in Ocean City by the replenishment, some surfers said its something they’ve grown to deal with.

“There are probably more people who go to the beach than there are surfers, so the tendency would be to satisfy their needs first,” Shanahan said, “Surfers will find a place to surf.”

The Army Corps of Engineers expect the next beach replenishment in Ocean City to be in 2024.


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