By: Quinn Whitesall, Habitat Restoration Technician, American Littoral Society
On Friday of Labor Day Weekend, I ventured down to the Bay to capture before photos of the restored beaches prior to Hermine. At that time, the path of Hermine was unsure and hitting the Delaware Bay was a possibility. Thankfully, the Delaware Bay area was safe as the storm took a turn out to sea and only left us with an ocean-like surf and some gusty winds. The following Tuesday, I visited those same beaches to see any possible “after” effects. Although the wind was whipping and the waves were surging, our beaches looked practically untouched.
South Reeds: Post-Hermine, the beach appears to have some cutouts in the sand, but not much in the way of erosion. There was a build up of sand in front of the bulkhead near the beach entrance. The waves at Reeds were very violent with about 1.5-2ft waves surging the length of the beach, except in front of the reef. It is rare that we get to witness these kinds of conditions at the reef (although we have a wave attenuator that tracks this data), but the waves were actually a bit calmer in front of the reef and only reached about a foot in height. Due to extra high water, I was unable to explore the conditions of the reef post-Hermine. A reef update will be posted shorlty.
Cooks: Post-Hermine, the water was extremely high even though I was there about 2 hours prior to high tide. The only damage present was in the front of the parking area, the berm had been completely washed over.
Kimbles: No evidence of erosion post-Hermine, just a very high and thick wrack line. Although I was there 2 hours prior to high tide, the water level was very high and had almost completely washed over the southern end of the beach. The berm in front of the parking area was fully intact and looked untouched.
Moores: There were no signs of erosion as a result of Hermine. The beach and parking area did not suffer any damage. Due to the extreme tide, I was unable to take any pictures of our newest reef post-Hermine. But prior to the storm, the reef seemed to be holding up well with a lot of sediment accruing around each reef block, creating small lagoons where we often find juvenile fish. An update on the condtion of the reefs post-Hermine will be posted shortly.