Shoreline Armoring

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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

Holden Beach Says ‘No’ to Terminal Groin, NC

Terminal groins are wall-like structures built perpendicular to the shore at inlets to contain sand in areas of high erosion, like that of beaches at inlets.

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Living Shorelines

“Living Shoreline Techniques in the Marine District of New York, ” a document produced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, lays out an approach to the coast that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should heed. It “emphasizes natural and nature-based solution to erosion control that will protect New Yorkers and the environment.”

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‘Sand mattress’ technology to combat Mother Nature at Kuhio Beach

Erosion in Waikiki has been a long-time concern and the City and County of Honolulu is once again looking for solutions to combat the problem.

Comments Off on ‘Sand mattress’ technology to combat Mother Nature at Kuhio Beach

How can we save America’s vanishing beaches? California shows the way, according to Surfrider report

Shorelines are shrinking. Storms are flooding streets and battering homes. Coastlines around the country are being hit by climate change. And, perhaps surprisingly, California is offering an example of how the coast can be saved.

Comments Off on How can we save America’s vanishing beaches? California shows the way, according to Surfrider report

Study: NC gets ‘D’ for climate change policies

Days after a federal report issued a harsh warning about climate change, an environmental group said North Carolina’s policies leave the state among the most ill-prepared on the East Coast to deal with the effects of rising seas.

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Florida without its beaches: Seawall dooms state oceanfronts, By Robert Young

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued an emergency authorization last week that will allow individual property owners in a portion of St. Johns County to build new seawalls without the typical engineering and scientific analysis. This is a terrible mistake for the communities impacted. It is poor coastal management.

Comments Off on Florida without its beaches: Seawall dooms state oceanfronts, By Robert Young

Seawalls: Ecological effects of coastal armoring in soft sediment environments

For nearly a century, America’s coasts — particularly those with large urban populations — have been armored with human made structures such as seawalls. These structures essentially draw a line in the sand that constrains the ability of the shoreline to respond to changes in sea level and other dynamic coastal processes.

Comments Off on Seawalls: Ecological effects of coastal armoring in soft sediment environments

Australia: Erosion rate rise along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road prompts effort to bolster beach sand dunes

More than 16,000 cubic metres of sand is being moved along beaches at Apollo Bay to protect the Great Ocean Road from coastal erosion.

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Inventory Tracks ‘Armoring’ of Beaches, Inlets

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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  • Recent / Shoreline Armoring

    Holden Beach Says ‘No’ to Terminal Groin, NC

    April 20th, 2018

    Terminal groins are wall-like structures built perpendicular to the shore at inlets to contain sand in areas of high erosion, like that of beaches at inlets.

    Read More

    Living Shorelines

    December 21st, 2017

    “Living Shoreline Techniques in the Marine District of New York, ” a document produced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, lays out an approach to the coast that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should heed. It “emphasizes natural and nature-based solution to erosion control that will protect New Yorkers and the environment.”

    Read More

    ‘Sand mattress’ technology to combat Mother Nature at Kuhio Beach

    December 18th, 2017

    Erosion in Waikiki has been a long-time concern and the City and County of Honolulu is once again looking for solutions to combat the problem.

    Read More

    How can we save America’s vanishing beaches? California shows the way, according to Surfrider report

    November 9th, 2017

    Shorelines are shrinking. Storms are flooding streets and battering homes. Coastlines around the country are being hit by climate change. And, perhaps surprisingly, California is offering an example of how the coast can be saved.

    Read More

    Study: NC gets ‘D’ for climate change policies

    November 8th, 2017

    Days after a federal report issued a harsh warning about climate change, an environmental group said North Carolina’s policies leave the state among the most ill-prepared on the East Coast to deal with the effects of rising seas.

    Read More

    Florida without its beaches: Seawall dooms state oceanfronts, By Robert Young

    September 25th, 2017

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued an emergency authorization last week that will allow individual property owners in a portion of St. Johns County to build new seawalls without the typical engineering and scientific analysis. This is a terrible mistake for the communities impacted. It is poor coastal management.

    Read More

    Seawalls: Ecological effects of coastal armoring in soft sediment environments

    July 27th, 2017

    For nearly a century, America’s coasts — particularly those with large urban populations — have been armored with human made structures such as seawalls. These structures essentially draw a line in the sand that constrains the ability of the shoreline to respond to changes in sea level and other dynamic coastal processes.

    Read More

    Australia: Erosion rate rise along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road prompts effort to bolster beach sand dunes

    May 23rd, 2017

    More than 16,000 cubic metres of sand is being moved along beaches at Apollo Bay to protect the Great Ocean Road from coastal erosion.

    Read More

    Inventory Tracks ‘Armoring’ of Beaches, Inlets

    April 17th, 2017

    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.

    Read More

    Bills would ease rules on sandbags, pumping sand from shoals; NC

    April 8th, 2017

    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.

    Read More