Making a Sharper Shore

The sun is hot, the breeze is salty, and the beach is ... crushed glass?

That's what some South Florida residents will be strolling on when they visit the beach this summer. After seasonal storms eroded about 40 miles of coast, Broward County (search) officials decided to repair the beach using a more creative approach than costly deep-sea dredging.

They are creating man-made sand out of glass bottles and jars.

"Glass is made from sand. It's glass going back to its original form, more or less," said Steve Higgins, beach erosion administrator for Broward County.

The sand is made by crushing bottles and jars into small, smooth grains. The glass pieces are so similar to sand, most beach-goers won't notice the difference.

Marine biologist Chris Makowski said even the wildlife won't notice the difference between natural sand and recycled sand.

"The sea life is adapting to this, no problem. Just like the natural sand, we're seeing that mortality rates are very low. The crabs, the fish, the sea urchins are able to adapt and live within this matrix," Makowski told FOX News.

County officials say the glass won't solve the sand shortage problem, but it will change how beaches are replenished.

Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Orlando Salinas.