October 11 2010 | Beachapedia,
by Mark Rauscher
Seawalls, groins, jetties and other shoreline stabilization structures have had tremendous impacts on our nation's beaches. Shoreline structures are built to alter the effects of ocean waves, currents and sand movement. They are usually built to "protect" buildings that were built on a beach that is losing sand. Sometimes they are built to redirect rivers and streams. Other times they are constructed to shelter boats in calm water. In many cases, seawalls, jetties, breakwaters and groins have caused down-coast erosion problems with associated costs that have greatly exceeded the construction cost of the structure.