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Beach Erosion: FIRST LEGO League team's innovative idea in continuously self-replenish the beaches using renewable wave energy


Beach erosion has major impacts on our property, personal safety, infrastructure, economy, recreation, wildlife habitat, and taxes. People have long since been building coastal protection measures to battle erosion impacts but either lost to the next storm or increased sand depletion elsewhere. Federal and local governments have spent enormous amounts of money to dredge, transport, and pump sand back to our coastlines. This costly restoration process also has to be repeated every 5 to 7 years to keep up with erosion. The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team Landroids, a group of middle school friends, has looked for ways to work with, instead of against, mother nature. Using submersible, wave-powered pumps to continuously send a sand slurry back toward the shoreline can be a more sustainable, long-term, and economical way to replenish our beaches. This idea drew on a current technology but used it in a completely different but innovative way. For the pump's 30-year lifespan compared to 4 replenishing cycles the US Army Corps must do to move the same amount of sand, our proposal will cost less than 10% of the current replenishment method. This method has less environmental impacts, utilizes wave energy instead of fighting it, and can be implemented elsewhere around the world to benefit other coastal communities. In 2007, Landroids was the founder robotics team to promote STEM education for neighborhood kids. Today, there are 8 similar teams in town plus a high school robotics team and three Jr. FLL after-school teams.

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