Kelley cited in Journal Tribune article on Wells Beach erosion

Journal Tribune cited a Maine Policy Review report written by Joseph Kelley, a professor of marine geology in the University of Maine School of Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Change Institute, in an article about Wells Beach erosion. The article focused on a public hearing held by the Board of Selectmen to discuss purchasing 375,000 cubic yards of sand from a dredging project in Portsmouth Harbor and depositing it on the beach to protect against erosion. State geologist Steve Dickson said several ill-fated engineering decisions over the past 50 years have caused erosion along Wells Beach and Drake’s Island, according to the article. When the jetties around Wells Harbor were constructed in the 1960s, sand began to build up in the protected area where the southern jetty meets the beach. Wave action couldn’t dislodge the sand and deposit it evenly along the rest of the beach, which caused it to accumulate until the 1970s, resulting in about 5 acres or 500,000 cubic yards of new sand dunes near the jetty, and a net loss in the beach system, the article states. The new dunes became protected by the state’s Natural Resource Protection Act and the additional land claimed by property owners, making it nearly impossible to redistribute, Kelly wrote in the Maine Policy Review.