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
Ongoing efforts to address erosion at the north end of Topsail Island took on more urgency this week after a weekend storm pounded the shoreline.
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Hard erosion control devices aren’t generally allowed on South Carolina beaches, and with good reason. Here’s why: Seawalls actually can accelerate erosion, often on adjacent property.
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A report and open letter from coastal geologists Warner Chabot and Rob Young, presented to the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) meeting in Sacramento, held on August 26th, 2014.
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Environmentalists denounced a bill to let a handful of property owners rebuild the aging Debordieu seawall, despite a state law that banned seawalls about a quarter century ago. The ban, adopted as part of the 1988 beach management act, was enacted because seawalls are known to make beach erosion worse when slammed by waves.
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The sea has protected Venice since the fifth century, when people moved to the fish-shaped islands of Rialto for safety from mainland invaders. Over the next thirteen centuries, the seafaring city-state grew in power and strength. But the tide has turned, and the sea that once protected Venice now threatens it.
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Every year billions are spent in Britain and Europe on policies that wreck homes and lives through flooding…
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Plans for adapting to climate change in Cartagena, Colombia, were first outlined back in 2004, and continue to advance in spite of the voices raised in protest. While the authorities applaud the plans, many local people have their doubts…
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The traditional crofting way of life is under threat in Scotland’s Western Isles because of a fundamental misunderstanding of how Atlantic wave action affects their coastlines, a University of Ulster academic has revealed.
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Coastal flooding is often the greatest threat to life and property during and after storms.
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