The common problems of eroded beaches and clogged inlets hazardous for boat traffic have a mutual solution.

Coastal areas around the country are dredging clogged inlets to make them easier and safer to navigate, and using the sand they suck from the bottom to widen beaches damaged by natural erosion or serious storms.

It's not cheap, but it is popular from Cape Cod to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and along the Pacific coast. One project in New Jersey alone will cost more than $18 million.

The sand pumped ashore is clean, but some conservationists worry about disturbing wildlife habitat or altering the shape of coastlines.