Category Archives: Shoreline Armoring

Sinking Sundarbans: A Photo Gallery by Peter Caton, Greenpeace

Shukdev Das: “I live in Ghoramara. I lost my house due to the rising sea water. We are certain that in the near future, our island will also be under water. We don’t know where we shall live.” Captions and photos source: © Greenpeace / Peter Caton


The Sundarbans, a network of islands that spans the mouth of the Ganges delta from eastern India to Bangladesh, are sinking rapidly. The seas around the islands in the Bay of Bengal that support a unique mangrove ecosystem are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth, and the lives and livelihoods of more than 4 million residents are under threat from rising waters and a greater number of cyclones…

Read Full Article and View Photo Gallery: Sinking Sundarbans: A Slideshow, Greenpeace / © Peter Caton, The Guardian UK

Sinking Sundarbans: An exhibition of photographs by Peter Caton, Guardian UK

Featured images source: © Greenpeace/Peter Caton

The Trouble with Seawalls

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


For surfers, a beach break has an ephemeral quality. A sandbar might last for months, or might be removed entirely by the next storm. In a few hours a storm can completely resculpt a beach. What this means for the surfer is “keep paddling.”

For the resort or property owner things are not that simple. Such, alas, is the nature of money, investments and perhaps hubris.

Recent events in Tofino remind us that a beach is dynamic in nature and ever evolving…

Read Full Article; Dredging Today

Photos tell different stories about sand berm effort to block oil spill

Sand berms, Louisiana. Photo source: ©© Louisiana GOHSEP


Critics and supporters of building sand berms to shield Louisiana’s coast from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have released dueling photo sequences that alternately show one of the berms washing away or performing precisely as planned, depending on the eye of the beholder…

Read Full Article, The Times-Picayune

A Sand Trap in the Gulf; By Robert Young, in The New York Times

Dredging, Sand Berm Construction in Coastal Louisiana. Photo source: ©© Louisiana GOHSEP


Of the many cleanup solutions being pursued in the Gulf of Mexico, few are as ambitious as Louisiana’s berm project. The Army Corps of Engineers recently authorized the state to construct some 45 miles of artificial berms in an effort to protect Mississippi River Delta wetlands and barrier islands from the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon leak, with BP promising to pay the state $360 million for the entire project. Many more miles may be authorized in the coming weeks…

Robert Young is a professor of coastal geology and director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University.

Image Source: AP, Dave Martin.

Read Full Article; By Robert Young, The New York Times.

Use of Hardened Beach Structures to Slow Erosion

Use of Hardened Beach Structures
Large concrete jacks used to stabilize beach in Japan. Photo: Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

Topic: Use of hardened beach structures to slow erosion.

While the use of hardened beach structures are debated, there is little debate over what they do beaches over time. Hardened beach structures disrupt the natural movement of sand up and down a beach and in the case of sea walls and sand bags, eliminate the beach altogether.

Question: Should hardened beach structures be allowed on public beaches? Should their use be limited? How?

North Carolina’s Legislation on Hardened Structures Reconsidered

North Carolina Legislation

By Santa Aguila Foundation

North Carolina law has prohibited hardened structures on its beaches and inlets for more than two decades. A handful of private beachfront homeowners are attempting to undo the ban that has set a national example and protected these public beaches.

This documentary in The Beaches of The World series was made possible thanks to the generous contribution of Glenna Patton.

Join our campaign to support the ban on hardened beach structures.