Controlling coastal erosion

There are three major approaches used by humans to try and solve the problem of coastline erosion

Hard structural stabilization – such as groins, jetties seawalls and breakwaters

Soft structural stabilization – such as beach nourishment

Nonstructural strategies-  such as land-use restriction and zoning

Hard Structural Stabilization

Federal, state and local governments have had long-term love affairs with groin, jetty, seawall and breakwater structures

Soft Structure Stabilization

Beach Nourishment is the addition of sand and sediment to a beach to replace sand and sediment that has been eroded away

It involves the transport of the “nourishment material” from one area to the affected area

Of course, beaches sands and sediments are not living entities and do not require “nourishment”

Nonstructural Strategies

Coastlines are dynamic, high energy environments where waves, storms and time always cause change

Both hard and soft structural stabilization, in the long run, require increased expenditure for fleeting gains

Nonstructural strategies such as land-use restrictions, prohibiting development and mandating minimum setback from the coast are the only way to minimize property damage

Such strategies are bitterly opposed by most local authorities



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