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The Preventative Methods of Beach Erosion Control

Beach Erosion Control

One of the key methods of increase of town or cities economy is tourism and in many coastal town or states with lots of beaches like California and Florida it is the beach. As you may know, beaches not only generate money as tourist and local attraction but it also an ecosystem that is a home to many ocean wildlife. Over the years, beaches, especially in Florida have had many strokes of bad luck with the erosion of their beaches affecting the property value, the tourism and the ecosystem which a beach is for wildlife.

As stated above this has been a problem for sometime and the local and state government have made it an imperative to control the amount of sand and sediment that is affected by erosion and repair some damaged beaches restoring them to their prime and natural state. Though different methods have been tried and tested, over time many have proven to be impotent, but there are many other methods and techniques used by companies that have been conceived in order to prevent and repair eroded beaches.

To start, beach erosion is natural occurrence, but many times it is caused by man-made influences. Beach erosion is exactly that, the removal of sand and sediment from beach shorelines due to the constant crashing of waves onto the beaches, dragging sand and sediment off the beach reducing the shoreline or other ways through human impact.

A method commonly used in repairing eroded shorelines is called beach nourishment. This involves replenishing or replacing lost sand from secondary sources in order to extend the shoreline. In Florida, secondary sources include sand mines, were sand and sediment are hauled and dumped onto the eroded beach, but this has proved somewhat complicated due to nesting sea turtles, who come to Florida to lay their eggs. Due to beach sand being different from mine sand, sea turtles don’t like it and nest somewhere else. So, this goes to show that not only the most convenient methods of beach preservation are to be taken but also ones that compliment the natural ecosystem.

Another method used in slowing down the erosion of beaches in installing beach breakers further along the shoreline, which slow down the speed of the incoming waves thus slowing down beach erosion. This doesn’t prevent beach erosion but it does remedy certain techniques taken to prevent or repair eroded beaches. These mostly include large rocks or boulders that serve as a very heavy obstruction that breaks down the waves.

As stated above, beach erosion is a very serious problem, because after sometime the beach starts to look as small as sandbox with waves crashing onto the shore. At times waves are crashing onto or very near to man made structures or very close to homes and properties that reside along the beach itself. This not only leads to a reduction in tourism and business to the beach but a drop in property value.

Other methods used to prevent the erosion of beach include implementing heavy fibers along the shore of the beach which acts as a stabilizer preventing sand and sediment from being dragged away from the beach. Preventative erosion methods have been used using heavy textile fibers along beaches and canals. Plastic tubes are used in similar spots in orders to prevent the damage that crashing waves and reinforce the strength of the beach.

Another methods frequently used in beach erosion control are beach groins. These are long structures that extend into the water and control the flow of sand by catching it through the longshore, where it slowly builds up the amount of sand. But because of this, it depletes the movement of sand from other parts of the beaches causing erosion there.

More natural methods have been implement in order which including vegetation. Certain plants have been planted in specific parts of the beach, were growing roots anchor and sustain the sand from being drifted by the wind or waves crashing onto the beach. Seaweed, algae and other saltwater vegetation have been observed to perform a similar function.

These different methods stated above have been used and proven useful, with some setbacks, in preventing beach erosion, which could have consequential impacts on the ecosystem as well as preventing damage to properties that have been built along the beach as well as their property value which could and has been greatly affected by beach erosion.

The efforts to continue preventing beach erosion has continued; new groins and other technologies have been used to further perfect methods that have proven successful, but come with setbacks that solve a problem in one location, but cause problem another further along the beach, such as improving beach groins. Fibers and other methods using fibers have proven effective in preventing or controlling the amount sand and sediment that is eroded and dragged off the beach. The fibers also serve as shoreline stabilizer, maintain an adequate amount of sand on the beach as well prevent sand and sediment from eroding from the beach.

Wave breakers placed along the shore of the beach or at the shore itself works as a reinforcement that breaks or slows incoming waves, thus slowing beach erosion. Other’s breaker methods such as the plastic tube breaker both keeps sand and sediment on the beach but also stabilizes the beach.

These methods not only preserve the health and function of an natural ecosystem, but it also preserves the economy that beaches provide for towns and cities, but also protects property and their value on the real estate market from diminishing. Beaches that are left unattended to completely lose their essence and are left as a sad reality of what they used to be. Some beaches are reduced to nothing, often times having the shore come virtually to the structures that rest on the shore or just having a waterfront. This has been seen in many beaches and local and state governments are acting using new technology and methods to prevent their beaches from being completely eroded.

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