4 Ways to Address Beach Erosion

Beach erosion is the bane of many seaside properties, homes and communities. Rising sea levels and frequent, severe storms have accelerated the problem.

Twenty years ago, hightide could have been hundreds of feet away, but due to beach erosion, it may be up to the front door of your vacation home. Here are some options to consider as you and your community plan for the future.

Beach Nourishment

This rarely is a permanent fix, but trucking in loads of fresh, compatible sand to supplement your beach may buy you time until you can find a more sustainable solution. It could also be used to give a boost to other erosion-halting methods.

A word of warning, it’s expensive, and you may want to check with your local environmental laws to see if it’s even allowed. It can also harm local marine life by burying everything living close to shore under all the new sand.

Vegetation Cultivation

Letting go of a bare, sandy beach and allowing local grasses to grow may help keep the sand (and coastline) where you want it. This also extends to marine plant life such as seagrass. It may not be as visually attractive (and disconcerting to feel touch your feet when swimming), but it’s a small sacrifice that may have large dividends.

Jetties and Groins

Both options require permits and making use of marine inspection services due to the effect they can have on the local environment as well as beaches further along the coastline.

Jetties and groins are similar structures that extend from the beach out into the ocean to prevent sand travel. There tend to only be one or two jetties erected near a beach to block the ocean current—and they extend pretty far out to do so. Groins tend to be shorter, but work as a set of several structures placed along the beach to hinder sand from being carried away by the water.

Sea Walls

The name is rather self-explanatory. It is simply a wall between you and the sea. This is less to maintain the beach itself and more so to protect the property beyond it. This is another structure that would require permits and inspections, and it can run rather expensive, but a sea wall may be the only option that will keep your head above water.

In some areas, up to five feet of beach can disappear in a year. Taking action now will ensure there will still be a beach to enjoy for years to come.

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