Methods of Shoreline Protection Notes

Methods of Shoreline Protection
There are several ways in which people can protect their shorelines from the erosion and
deposition caused by waves, tides, and water currents.
1. Pier: A raised structure that leads out from the shore into a body of water. Many piers
have wave screens that decrease the energy of waves during high winds and storms.
2. Living Shoreline: Uses living plant materials, oyster shells, soil, or a combination of
natural structures with breakwaters to protect coastlines from erosion.
3. Jetty: A structure built from a shore out into the water to direct currents in order to
protect a harbor or coastline. Jetties minimize sand and rock deposits and erosion from
waves and tidal forces.
4. Groyne: A barrier that extends from the shore out into the ocean. It is similar to, but
much smaller than, a jetty. Groins are aligned with the shore to prevent the movement
of water and transport of materials toward the shore.
5. Bulkhead/Breakwater/Rip Rap: Barriers constructed along shorelines to control beach
and landslide erosion caused by wave action. They are commonly made out of wood,
commercially developed vinyl products, large boulders stacked to form a wall, or
6. Seawall: Similar to bulkhead/breakwater, but most commonly made out of concrete or
cement to form a thick, tall wall.
7. Revetment: Sloping structures placed on banks or cliffs in such a way that they absorb
the energy of incoming waves, to lessen the damage of erosion. Revetments can be
made out of various materials such as wood, boulders, rocks, or concrete.
8. Gabion Basket: Cages filled with rocks, concrete, or sand that act as a caged rip rap to
protect shorelines and land from erosion. They are heavy and can conform to ground
movement, so they are not washed away easily (while rip raps alone are).
9. Soil Mat: Mats of fabric that contain soil that are laid out along a shoreline (mainly
around lakes) to prevent erosion of the land.
10. Cliff Stabilization: A technique used to control coastal erosion; the cliffs are stabilized
through dewatering (draining excess water) or anchoring (wiring or anchoring the cliff to
stabilize it).
11. Beach Replenishment: Beach replenishment or nourishment is one of the most popular soft
engineering techniques of coastal defense management schemes. This involves importing
sand off the beach or from the ocean floor and piling it on top of the existing sand.