Monthly Archives: July 2017


What is a Sandshed?

Sandsheds form the framework for our understanding of the sources, sinks, transport, and storage of sand along the coast in conjunction with the processes and factors shaping the economic, recreational and ecological health of beaches. Similar to a watershed which delineates the boundary of land draining into a particular river, a sandshed physically encompasses the land and nearshore zone affecting the sand supply and overall health of our sandy beaches in a particular beach compartment or littoral cell. In California, a beach compartment or littoral cell typically begins at a rocky headland and terminates into a submarine canyon with sand transported along the shoreline in the direction of the predominant waves. Managing the coastline with a sandshed-based approach is a beach-centric, interdisciplinary method that assesses sand supply and processes within a regional landscape to evaluate the stability and condition of our beaches in a holistic way to minimize hazards and maximize the recreational, geomorphological, ecological, and cultural value of the beach.

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