The amount of effort involved in collecting depth integrated or point integrated sediment samples and the subsequent analysis to produce continuous sediment load is a viable explanation for why we know so little about the role of rivers for moving dirt. We have also been able to avoid that work and hence be neglectful of the sediment budgets of deltas, estuaries, and the near-shore environment largely because, until now, it hasn’t mattered too much. Unfortunately, willful ignorance comes at a cost. Rising sea levels coupled with dropping sediment supply are putting some of our most valuable shoreline assets at severe risk.

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