This refers to the construction of seawalls, jetties, offshore breakwaters and groins intended to hold shorelines in place. Although it is well understood by scientists that armoring beaches destroys beaches on a decadal time scale, this fact is still widely unrecognized by the general public or ignored by coastal developers and engineers. The demand for armoring will become even more widespread as the rate of sea-level rise and shoreline retreat increases. A few political entities (North Carolina, USA, North Sea Coast of Holland) have outlawed armoring (with moderate success) and more should be urged to do so. There are large numbers of salesmen with “unique” types of seawalls and groins (Holmberg Device) that need to be refuted.
Definitions of Shoreline Armoring Terms
- The addition of sand to a beach allowing it to widen and build out seaward.
- Groin is a structure built perpendicular to the shoreline usually of rock or metal designed to trap sand that moves in the long shore current
- Hardened beach structures
- A general term referring to groins, jetties, offshore breakwaters, sea walls, tombolos, or any other engineered
- A jetty is a hardened structure built at an inlet usually made of rock or metal designed to keep navigation channels from filling in with sediment
- Longshore drift
- Long shore drift carries sand and sediment parallel to the shore and serves as the sand source for many beaches. On the east coast of the US, the long shore current is from the north to the south.
- Offshore breakwaters
- An engineered structure placed offshore and parallel to the beach. Breakwaters mimic sandbars to cause waves to break, lessening erosion on the beach behind the breakwater, but interrupting the longshore drift.
- Shoreline armoring
- The use of groins, jetties, offshore breakwaters, sea walls, tombolos or other hardened beach structures on the shore
- Sea wall
- A sea wall is designed to protect the land from erosion particularly during storms and usually made of metal, wood, or rock. One of the most famous seawalls is the Galveston seawall in Galveston, TX built after the 1900 hurricane killed 6,000 people on the island.
- Tombolos are a special type of groin built perpendicular to the shore to trap sand, but with an end parallel to the shore designed to reduce wave energy.
Surfing in / Shoreline Armoring
The “Beach and Tidal Habitat Inventories,” covers the East Coast from Maine to the North Carolina-South Carolina border, and is based on Google Earth data that show changes in the beaches and inlets from Hurricane Sandy, and by man, from 2012 through 2015.
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The Senate and House are finalizing another set of enviromental regulations, including one that loosens rules on sandbag walls and another that would allow using sand from Diamond Shoals for beach nourishment without testing it first.
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The immediate future most certainly holds more miles of sandbags, resulting in more narrowed and ugly beaches.But this trend can be halted and reversed. Now is the time to make peace with the ocean.The time is now to stop sandbagging, both physically with no more shore-hardening structures, and politically with no more exceptions to the intent of the rules, no more undermining existing legislation, and a return to enforcement.
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This is the third winter in four years that Goleta Beach Park has taken a beating in the winter swells. Even behind the boulders- dropped along 950 feet of beach at a cost of $275,000 – the park bluff is retreating, unprotected by a ripped out $350,000 barrier of plastic mesh, that had been stacked against the bluffs last spring.
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Make an earnest effort to remove the sandbags from your beach. Under state law, sandbags are only supposed to stay on the beach for a two- to five-year window.
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Millions of people come to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk each year to body surf, enjoy the rides or simply soak up the California sun. But few of them notice the dramatic, relentless changes in the city’s coastline that are wreaking havoc on the beloved amusement park.
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Walking along Cua Dai is like visiting a beach-restoration technology exhibition, with efforts ranging from stone seawalls to fiber-and-sand wave breakers.
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When Hurricane Matthew approached North Carolina in October, many in the state – from scientists to casual observers – watched to see the effects on shorelines.Storm surge and increased wave action can visibly wear away the coast. How would properties with bulkheads fare? Or, for those with wetlands conservation in mind, would living shorelines deliver what they promised..?
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Greater Jakarta, one of the world’s most densely populated cities, sits on a swampy plain and is sinking at a faster rate than any other city in the world.
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