Shoreline Armoring

Massive sand bags View Shoreline Armoring Gallery

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

Accretion
The addition of sand to a beach allowing it to widen and build out seaward.
Groin
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
Jetty
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
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

Vietnam battles erosion of beaches – and of tourism

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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Living Shorelines Withstand Storm Matthew’s Force

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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Indonesia to resume work on giant seawall

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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EPA gives $91,000 to help educate about beach erosion

Battling the beach erosion in places like Greenbackville, Va is nothing short of team effort. The Chincoteague Bay Field Station (CBFS) has been working to fight erosion using living shorelines, and now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stepped in to help them out with a $91,000 grant.

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South Carolina says no to Wild Dunes beach erosion walls

Experimental removable seawalls have been ordered to be taken down in front of erosion-imperiled condos and houses.

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“Living Shorelines” Will Get Fast Track to Combat Sea Level Rise

As sea levels rise along U.S. coasts, it may soon get easier for people and local governments to obtain federal permits to build what are known as “living shorelines,” natural or nature-based structures designed to protect communities and infrastructure from extreme storms and flooding even as they protect habitat.

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New study shows impact of human-made structures on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands

As Louisiana’s wetlands continue to disappear at an alarming rate, a new study has pinpointed the human-made structures that disrupt the natural water flow and threaten these important ecosystems. The findings have important implications for New Orleans and other coastal cities that rely on coastal wetlands to serve as buffer from destructive extreme weather events.

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Shifting sand differs on developed, undeveloped beaches; Georgia

Natural and undeveloped beaches should not be armored or modified with “nourishment,” as the sand-sharing system moves deposits from dune to beach in storms and back again. Normally following storms, beach sands are gradually returned to reform dunes.

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Living shorelines a more natural approach to preventing coastal erosion

For centuries, large bulkheads have been used to help control erosion along coastlines. More recent research suggests that a natural approach may be a better alternative. Having nature on your side, especially during a storm or hurricane, is proven to provide better protection from coastal erosion.

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  • Shoreline Armoring Resources


  • Recent / Shoreline Armoring

    Living Shorelines Withstand Storm Matthew’s Force

    December 8th, 2016

    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..?

    Read More

    Indonesia to resume work on giant seawall

    September 19th, 2016

    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.

    Read More

    EPA gives $91,000 to help educate about beach erosion

    July 23rd, 2016

    Battling the beach erosion in places like Greenbackville, Va is nothing short of team effort. The Chincoteague Bay Field Station (CBFS) has been working to fight erosion using living shorelines, and now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stepped in to help them out with a $91,000 grant.

    Read More

    South Carolina says no to Wild Dunes beach erosion walls

    July 12th, 2016

    Experimental removable seawalls have been ordered to be taken down in front of erosion-imperiled condos and houses.

    Read More

    “Living Shorelines” Will Get Fast Track to Combat Sea Level Rise

    July 8th, 2016

    As sea levels rise along U.S. coasts, it may soon get easier for people and local governments to obtain federal permits to build what are known as “living shorelines,” natural or nature-based structures designed to protect communities and infrastructure from extreme storms and flooding even as they protect habitat.

    Read More

    New study shows impact of human-made structures on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands

    June 29th, 2016

    As Louisiana’s wetlands continue to disappear at an alarming rate, a new study has pinpointed the human-made structures that disrupt the natural water flow and threaten these important ecosystems. The findings have important implications for New Orleans and other coastal cities that rely on coastal wetlands to serve as buffer from destructive extreme weather events.

    Read More

    Shifting sand differs on developed, undeveloped beaches; Georgia

    June 14th, 2016

    Natural and undeveloped beaches should not be armored or modified with “nourishment,” as the sand-sharing system moves deposits from dune to beach in storms and back again. Normally following storms, beach sands are gradually returned to reform dunes.

    Read More

    Living shorelines a more natural approach to preventing coastal erosion

    May 18th, 2016

    For centuries, large bulkheads have been used to help control erosion along coastlines. More recent research suggests that a natural approach may be a better alternative. Having nature on your side, especially during a storm or hurricane, is proven to provide better protection from coastal erosion.

    Read More

    Terminal Groins Don’t Stop Erosion

    May 3rd, 2016

    Decisions about terminal groins are being made in towns throughout the southern N.C. coast after the N.C. General Assembly in 2011 repealed a nearly 30-year-old ban on hardened beach erosion control structures. Legislators changed the law in 2015 to allow for up to six terminal groins.

    Read More

    First Salish Sea-wide shoreline armoring study shows cumulative effects on ecosystem

    April 21st, 2016

    Impacts associated with shoreline armoring can scale up to have cumulative, large-scale effects on the characteristics of shorelines and the diversity of life they support, new research shows.

    Read More