Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



The Yorktown Public Beach is located on the south side of the York River at Yorktown, Virginia (Figure 1). It is approximately 1,200 feet in length. 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 updrift 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. Since 1994, seven breakwaters with beach fill have been installed along the shoreline. These structures have created a stable beach planform designed to withstand a 50-yr storm event. In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel impacted the Yorktown Beach and backshore. This event, with its high storm surge, caused considerable damage to the buildings along Water St. However, the rock breakwater units sustained no damage, and the beach required only the placement of 3,500 cubic yards of sand to be brought back to it’s pre-storm condition.



Beach Erosion, Hurricane Impacts, Shore Protection, Yorktown, Viginia


A report obtained under contract with York County, Virginia