Beach Erosion

Human Dependence Project

What is Beach Erosion?

Beach erosion occurs when waves and currents remove sand from the beach system. The loss of sand causes the beach to become narrower and lower in elevation. Storm waves carry the sand offshore, depositing and storing the sediment in large sandbars. In weeks and months following the storm, the sand is returned to the beach by calm-weather waves. Because many states rely on beach-related tourism as a major source of revenue, beach erosion has become a serious concern for coastal counties throughout the United States. Beach erosion also threatens coastal properties and infrastructure, such as roads, homes, and businesses. A series of storms can cause significant retreat of the shoreline, leaving coastal property more vulnerable to future storms. This can effect crabs and other animals that live on the beach because they have less and less of a beach to live on.


Breakers can be placed in the water at certain points to slow down the waves. Naturally this isn't going to stop the erosion, but it will slow it down. The one problem with this method is that you will absolutely need to obtain a permit from the state before you begin. If you do not, then you may end up with some serious legal trouble on your hands. Another solution I came up with is to place metal metal supports on beach cliffs to keep them from collapsing. We could implement this now if we wanted to.
What is coastal erosion?


By: Everett Cunningham