Saturday, December 09, 2006

Building a Continuous Duneline - First Step

What I got from last week's BOA meeting is that there is some strong support for this with the majority of the board members eager to see a specific plan for implementing this long-held goal. They have asked the city manager - with the guidance of the Beach & Dune Taskforce - to come up with this plan in time for an early Feb. presentation.

Though this same board recently saw fit to demote me to a mere "alternate" on this committee (I'll get over it -- eventually ;-) I am prepared to throw myself at this issue and have begun jotting down some notes that I hope the taskforce will use as a basis for a plan.

As I see it, there is much we can do to get the ball rolling that does not require massive expenditures on the part of the town. The drive-over for the town's maintenance vehicles is going to be expensive and many of the pocket park walkovers are in need of upgrades - I sure would like to see some of the hotel/motel taxes used for this specific purpose - but we can help the dunes build themselves with relatively little expense, especially if we can marshall some volunteers:

1. altering current beach scraping operations by scraping less often and less aggressively - particularly in the slow season; handpicking the litter from the natural leavings; and dispersing the piles of seaweed more evenly
2. using christmas trees, hay bales and/or fencing to collect blowing sand in areas where there are no dunes
3. planting native flora in the spring to keep the new dunes in place

Last year 20-30 of us buried some trees, hay and fences shortly after the holidays. I don't believe these dunes were planted with anything but I do think they were still somewhat effective. Is the city going to support this effort again in 2007 by collecting trees for this purpose? And perhaps we need an official report on last year's effort as to just how effective it was, and which method worked the best.

City planner Cate Ball was very helpful with this project last year. She is currently on maternity leave and I know that Mr. Morales is overextended in her absence, but it would be nice if someone from the town's staff could step in and give us some guidance on this.



Blogger Sam said...

Hey y'all wasn't the GLO or somebody here this summer to measure the beach? I seem to remember a weird instrument, a guy with a survey pole, and a crazy nut on a jet-ski.

2:00 PM  
Blogger nancy said...

This morning's walk on the beach was a bit amusing. There was the zigzagging track of the raker but there was absolutely NOTHING on the beach to rake, not one morsel. In a zen garden, sand raking is supposed to calm the soul but all my soul could think about was how much does it cost to run a raking machine and its operator up and down the beach everyday?

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh-oh, I upgraded to beta-blogger and am having trouble here. Anyway, long story short, one of those beach tractors operating 3 hours a day 360 days a year would emit a quarter ton of oxides of nitrogen and about 24 tons of CO2. About 2,300 gallons of fuel would be consumed in about 1,000 hours of operation ... each.

The irony is that while the main goal is collect sea weed, the sargassum actually reduces CO2 but here we are creating Global Warming in the name of gathering it up!

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:18 AM  
Blogger Lucinda said...

To the person who left a couple of mean-spirited and non-relevant posts (which I promptly deleted) - feel free to contact me directly for an explanation. -sf

11:04 AM  
Blogger MLeahy said...

I think small bridges should be built for county vehicles to access the beach. Now, since they will also be the primary access point for pedestrians they must also be ADA accessable which will add more to the cost.

Sam, I remember your photos from last year and what a GREAT job everyone did. Since I have not been there after completion, how successful do you feel it was? BTW, not being an expert, does 17,000 lbs of fuel really generate 48,000 lbs of CO2?

This time of year when tourism is way down the town should reduce beach raking to twice a week, especially while vigilant residents comb the entire beach daily picking up trash. I guess they have to find something for workers to do?

As to global warming...OOPS, I mean global cooling, well whatever. in the 1970's climatologists were predicting doom due to global cooling, in the late 1980's it was global warming and the effects of El Nino on the weather. Guess what? Were now back to global cooling. All this in a period of thirty years on a planet over 5,000,000,000 years old. Over the past fifty years the mean global temperature differential has been +0.6 degrees. Get your parkas ready because if we experience cooling trends as severe as the warming trends, you might have to deal with 88.4 degree July days instead of 89!! Brrr, my two cents worth.

Regards, MLeahy

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey MLeahy! I threw the global warming thing in there because many of my clients such as Port of Seattle and Port of Houston Authority insist on it, not to make a political statement. Basically, diesel contains about 86-87% carbon by volume weight, so yes there would be lots of CO2 (some ends up as volatile hydrocarbon or suspended particulate matter).

So when you compare CO2 from sources like this, what you're trying to do is to get more productivity per gallon of fuel, since CO2 is directly related to fuel consumption (no way around it). Nothing wrong with trying to squeeze more work getting done from your expensive fuel, right? So instead of driving around in circles or making pretty marks on the beach, maybe there would be some real work for these tractors to do?

As to any algae or plant such as Sargassum, it should take in CO2 and release oxygen during photosynthesis.


2:06 PM  
Blogger MLeahy said...

Thanks for the explaination Sam. I honestly did not know where the number came from.I did not mean to imply that your statement was political. Climactic change is not political but makes a great platform for those politicians with nothing else going for them but alarmism (he he he*).

You have to admit that all the flip flopping over the past thirty years is not exactly doing the "Doom & Gloom" crowd any good on credibility.

Funny story, it is now being said that COWS,yes COWS are a major contributor to global warming. HHHAAAAAAAA!!!!!! The vegies out there must be having a COW over this. But what is the solution? Do we all veg out? If we do, what is to be done with all the cows, still breeding? We can't kill them, or the vegs' brothers and sisters over at PETA will have a COW. I love it!!! What a quandary for vegie animal lovers...

I'll bet you won't hear the "drive by media" reporting on this crisis. As there is no POLITICAL advantage like going after big oil.

Anyway, enough on my dissertation. Sam, check out the latest issue of "Texas Monthly" magazine. On the cover "The 63 Tacos You Must Try Before You Die". Gotta love it!

Wish I were there...Regards- MLeahy

9:42 PM  

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