Where Does the Sand Go?
I thought I’d take today to address a question that we at the hotel hear a lot, particularly at this time of year. Guests always ask me why the beach looks so different or why there are so many rocks compared to when they visit Wells Beach in the summer. The answer is actually fairly simple, though maybe a bit unexpected. Every year at the end of autumn the ocean currents actually change and begin to erode the beach. The sand is carried away and deposited on a sandbar that sits about a mile offshore. This exposes rocks on the beach that are normally hidden during the summer. The ocean currents switch again in the spring and the sand is carried back to shore and redeposited on Wells Beach. This fluctuation in ocean currents and ocean tides means that Wells Beach can look very different depending on the season.
Every few years the town of Wells makes an additional effort to combat erosion by dredging sand and sediment that has been deposited in Wells Harbor. They pipe that sand the length of Wells Beach and deposit it in the area of our Driftwinds building. The sand is then moved and graded until the beach has the appearance that so many of us are familiar with.