Category Archives: Shoreline Armoring

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

seawall-coastalcare
Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

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 Full Article, Science Daily

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young, (10-03-2014)

“Engineering away our natural defenses: An analysis of shoreline hardening in the US,” A Study by By Rachel K. Pittman, ResearchGate (08-08-2015)
Rapid coastal population growth and development are primary drivers of marine habitat degradation. Although shoreline hardening, a byproduct of development, can accelerate erosion and loss of beaches and tidal wetlands, it is a common practice globally. 22,842 km of continental U.S. shoreline, 14% of the total, has been hardened…

Living Shorelines: Better Than Bulkheads (02-08-2016)
More than 14,000 miles – 14 percent of continental U.S. coastline — has been armored with hardened structures. Hardened structures cause elevated rates of erosion on the shoreward side of the structure…

NOAA Study Finds Marshes, Reefs, Beaches Can Enhance Coastal Resilience, NOAA (04-29-2015)

“The Beaches Are Moving,” A Video featuring Orrin Pilkey, PhD
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem…

Living Shorelines: Better Than Bulkheads

coastal-restoration
Coastal restoration. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A study published last August by one team of academic researchers estimates that more than 14,000 miles – 14 percent of continental U.S. coastline — has been armored with hardened structures. That’s a conservative estimate.

“Without substantial changes to coastal management policies and development practices, the U.S. coastlines will likely lose their natural defenses,” according to the paper.

Hardened structures may protect against erosion, but ironically, they also cause elevated rates of erosion on the shoreward side of the structure…

Read Full Article, Coastal Review Online

NOAA study finds ‘living shorelines’ can lessen climate change’s effects, NOAA (12-22-2015)

Rethinking Living Shorelines, By Orrin H. Pilkey, Rob Young, Norma Longo, and Andy Coburn;Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines / Western Carolina University, March 1, 2012, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
In response to the detrimental environmental impacts caused by traditional erosion control structures, environmental groups, state and federal resource management agencies, now advocate an approach known as “Living Shorelines”that embraces the use of natural habitat elements such as indigenous vegetation, to stabilize and protect eroding shorelines.

NOAA Study Finds Marshes, Reefs, Beaches Can Enhance Coastal Resilience, NOAA (04-29-2015)

Coastal erosion needs our attention, South Coast Today (01-04-2016)

“Engineering away our natural defenses: An analysis of shoreline hardening in the US,” A Study by By Rachel K. Pittman, ResearchGate (08-08-2015)
Rapid coastal population growth and development are primary drivers of marine habitat degradation. Although shoreline hardening, a byproduct of development, can accelerate erosion and loss of beaches and tidal wetlands, it is a common practice globally. 22,842 km of continental U.S. shoreline, 14% of the total, has been hardened…

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young, (10-03-2014)

“North Carolina: The Beaches Are Moving,” A Video featuring Orrin Pilkey, PhD
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem…

New Rules to Ease Sandbag Restrictions, NC

sandbags-wall
Rows of houses with overlapping sandbag walls create huge problems. The walls do as much damage to the beach as hardened seawalls. Caption and photograph courtesy of: © Gary Lazorick, for Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

Proposed new rules will make it easier for beachfront land owners to build sandbag walls and leave them in place for longer periods.

Members of the state panel directed by the N.C. General Assembly to create the rules expressed fears that the new, looser restrictions could result in hardened beaches along the entire N.C. coast…

Read Full Article, Coastal Review Online

Sandbagged: The Undoing of a Quarter Century of North Carolina Coastal Conservation, Op Ed by Gary Lazorick (07-04-2011)
Rows of houses with overlapping sandbag walls create huge problems. The walls do as much damage to the beach as hardened seawalls. Removing the sandbags from one property potentially damages all of the others…

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young, (10-03-2014)

Seawall ‘Option’ Won’t Wash, Post & Courier, (10-23-2014)
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.

Watching The Rising Tides Along North Carolina’s Coast, (11-15-2013)
Professor Robert Young, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines and a professor of coastal geology at Western Carolina University, with North Carolina Public Radio host Frank Stasio, discussing the consequences of climate change and how rising sea levels have a strong effect on the beaches of North Carolina…

That ‘More Realistic’ Sea-Level Report? Not Good News for NC, By Robert S. Young, Ph.D., professor of coastal geology at Western Carolina University; News Observer (05-06-2015)

“North Carolina: The Beaches Are Moving,” A Video featuring Orrin Pilkey, PhD
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem…

The State That ‘Outlawed Climate Change’ Accepts Latest Sea-Level Rise Report, WUNC (05-05-2015)

North Carolina Should Move With Nature on Coast, News Observer (01-05-2015)

North Topsail Beach Debacle No Way for NC to Manage its Coast; Op Ed By Robert Young

topsail-denis-delestrac
Topsail beach erosion, North Carolina. ©Photo courtesy of: “Sand Wars” Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac. ©2013

Excerpts;

Is North Topsail Beach the most poorly managed beach community in the country? If not, it certainly seems to be taking a good shot at it. I have watched in dismay as the town has struggled to preserve a small stretch of oceanfront property at all costs. In doing so, officials have destroyed their beach and created significant access issues along more than a half-mile stretch of shoreline. Perhaps even more disconcerting is that this damage has been done with the permission of the N.C. Division of Coastal Management and the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission…

Read Full Article, News Observer

Effects of Seawall Armoring on Juvenile Pacific Salmon Diets

seawall-sb-cc
Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Are concrete seawalls actually affecting what salmons eat, and by how much? A University of Washington study shows that it depends on the species, with small chum salmon seeming to be most affected.

The study looked at the diets of young salmon passing through Elliott Bay. Researchers measured the types of prey in the water along armored shorelines and along restored beaches…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young, (10-03-2014)

Editorial – Wrong Direction on Beach Groins

groin
Photo source: ©© Matt Knoth
“Terminal groins are shore-perpendicular structures built in attempt to slow erosion. When a groin works as intended, sand moving along the beach in the so-called downdrift direction is trapped on the updrift side of the groin, causing a sand deficit and increasing erosion rates on the downdrift side. This well-documented and unquestioned impact is widely cited in the engineering and geologic literature.” —Rob Young, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) at Western Carolina University

Excerpts;

Groins don’t really work. They stop or slow erosion in the immediate vicinity, but worsen erosion farther down the beach by halting the natural flow of sand.

Beach sand migrates, especially as ocean levels rise. Trying to stop its natural course is like old King Canute trying to keep the tide from coming in. It’s folly — potentially expensive folly…

Read Full Article, StarNews

CoastLine: Are Terminal Groins Key to the Expensive Problem of Shoreline Management? HQR News (03-14-2015)

The Negative Impacts Of Groins, (02-12-2009)
The negative impact of groins on downdrift shorelines is well understood. When a groin works as intended, sand moving along the beach in the so-called downdrift direction is trapped on the updrift side of the groin, causing a sand deficit and increasing erosion rates on the downdrift side. This well-documented and unquestioned impact is widely cited in the engineering and geologic literature.

A Fiscal Analysis of Shifting Inlets and Terminal Groins in North Carolina, By Rob Young Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University (01-28-2011)
The debate about terminal groins, shore-perpendicular structures built at inlets in attempt to slow erosion, is worth keeping an eye on, whether you live in western North Carolina or in a coastal community, because it could cost you and our state a pretty penny…

Opponents: Terminal Groin Study Flawed, Coastal Review

Erosion-Control Structures Could Expand In North Carolina

jetty
Groins and jetties are walls built perpendicular to the shoreline. A jetty, often very long (sometimes miles), is intended to keep sand from flowing into a ship channel. Groins, much smaller walls built on straight stretches of beach away from channels and inlets, are intended to trap sand flowing in the longshore (surf-zone) current. Captions and Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Some legislators are once again trying to expand the number of certain erosion-controlling structures allowed by law along the North Carolina coast. This time, they’re trying to do it through the state budget…

Read Full Article, Greensboro

Jetties Blamed For Beach Erosion, Montauk NY, CBS (02-14-2011)

The Negative Impacts Of Groins, Coastal Care

A Fiscal Analysis of Shifting Inlets and Terminal Groins in North Carolina, By Rob Young Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University (01-28-2011)

Seawall ‘Option’ Won’t Wash, Post & Courier, (10-23-2014)
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.

The Changing Carolina Coast: Sand Is Everywhere, Except When It Isn’t, WUNC (06-02-2015)

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young, (10-03-2014)

North Carolina Should Move With Nature on Coast, News Observer (01-05-2015)

Engineering away our natural defenses: An analysis of shoreline hardening in the US

sea-wall-coastal-care-rotative
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Abstract;

Rapid coastal population growth and development are primary drivers of marine habitat degradation. Although shoreline hardening, a byproduct of development, can accelerate erosion and loss of beaches and tidal wetlands, it is a common practice globally.

Here, we provided the first estimate of shoreline hardening along United States coasts and predicted where existing or future hardening may result in tidal wetland loss if coastal management changes are not made. Our analysis indicated that 22,842 km of continental U.S. shoreline, 14% of the total, has been hardened.

We also considered how socioeconomic and physical factors relate to the pervasiveness of shoreline hardening and found that housing density, GDP, storms, and wave height were positively correlated with hardening. Over 50% of South Atlantic and Gulf Coast shorelines are fringed with tidal wetlands that could be threatened by hardening based on projected population growth, storm frequency, and a lack of shoreline hardening restrictions…

Read Full Article, By Rachel K. Pittman, ResearchGate

Gold Coast Beach Erosion Plan: Is the Plan on the Right Track?

australia
Australia. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

As the 2015 summer storm season approaches, has the Gold Coast City Council got the right plan in place to protect the beaches luring the 11.5 million tourists, residents and investors to Australia’s playground each year?

Read Full Article, The Brisbane Times

Gold Coast Needs $30m to Fix Eroded Beaches, ABC News Australia (05-18-2014)

“Seawalls Kill Beaches,” Open Letters by Warner Chabot And Rob Young, (10-03-2014)

Australia Not Prepared For Effects Of Climate Change, (09-18-2014)

Global Lessons for Adapting Coastal Communities to Protect against Storm Surge Inundation, Journal Of Coastal Research (01-07-2014)

California Coastal Armoring Report: Managing Coastal Armoring and Climate Change Adaptation in the 21st Century, By Molly Loughney Melius, Fellow, Stanford Law School Margaret R. Caldwell, Diretor, Environment and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program, Stanford Law School (05-24-2015)
In response to erosion and storm events, Californians have built seawalls, revetments, and other “coastal armoring” structures along significant portions of California’s coast. Coastal armoring now occupies more than 110 miles, or at least 10 percent, of the overall California coastline. This coastal armoring has diminished California’s beaches and habitat, irreversibly altered bluffs, caused increased erosion to neighboring properties, and marred the natural beauty of the coast…

“The Beaches Are Moving,” A Video featuring Orrin Pilkey, PhD
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem…