Virginia Institute of Marine Science
The Yorktown Public Beach is located on the south side of the York River at Yorktown,Virginia (Figure 1). Recently, it has undergone dramatic transformation with the construction of floating piers, upscale restaurants and shops, parking garage, and additional shore management structures. The main recreational beach is now about 1,600 feet in length. A new section of beach and breakwaters is located upstream of the main recreational shore; this project area is 1,500 ft long which includes property owned by the Waterman’s Museum. The middle section of the shoreline downriver of the Route 17 Coleman Bridge, where the floating piers are located,was surveyed but is not part of the analysis since little sand occurs in that area.
Historically, the beach was a product of erosion of nearby sandy upland banks and the littoral transport system. Over the years, the beaches along the waterfront began to narrow as the natural sediment supply was depleted by hardening of the up drift shorelines and were easily overwashed in storms and had continually eroded. Since 1978, various projects have taken place along Yorktown’s shoreline in order to abate erosion, provide a recreational beach, and minimize damage to the upland during storms. Between 1994 and 2004, seven breakwaters with beach fill were installed along the shoreline. These structures have created a stable beach plan form along the main recreational beach that was designed to withstand a 50-yr storm event. The shops and piers were begun in 2004 which required modification to the structures along that section of shore. The additional breakwaters upriver of the Coleman Bridge were constructed in early 2005 as was a structure downriver of the pier at the end of Comte de Grasse Street. These structures are shown in ground photos taken in April and May 2006 which are shown in Appendix A. An additional breakwater with pipes to stabilize the flow of Yorktown Creek was constructed in June 2006.
Yorktown Beach, VA, Shoreline Management, GIS
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A report obtained under contract with York County, Virginia
Milligan, D.A., Hardaway Jr., C.S.O'Brien, K.P., and Wilcox, C. (2006): State of Yorktown Beach 2006. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. https://doi.org/10.21220/V5R608