Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ala Spit

My visit to Whiffen Spit two weeks ago had me thinking a lot about Ala Spit, and since I was in the area for meetings and other site visits, I figured it was worth checking out Ala while the tide was still pretty high and I still had a little daylight left. The tide was a little above MHHW and flowing rapidly into the lagoon across the neck of the spit.

Gravel Beach:  Ala Spit  (December 2011 -- from there you can link back to earlier posts)

This site remains one of the more interesting beach restoration stories of the last few years and I suspect is trying to teach us lessons that, if we pay attention, will help us all on future projects.

One of the lessons - the more obvious one - is that beaches can suffer from a number of ills and that successful restoration must address, or at least carefully consider, all of them. Sometimes the challenge is figuring out which problems are most serious and which are secondary.

I think the more complex lesson is about restoring dynamic systems - especially after several decades have gone past.  Removing a stressor does not necessarily take you back to where you would have been had the stressor never been applied. I'm trying to figure out how to use the word "hysteresis" here - because I think it is important. But I need to work longer on this argument than I have time for now -- and there will undoubtedly be other chances!

Google Maps:  AERIAL VIEW

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