Coastal Erosion

Topics: Erosion, Beach, Coastal geography Pages: 3 (880 words) Published: December 6, 2012
Coastal Erosion
Coastal Erosion is a huge problem today and is causing our beaches to get smaller and smaller every year. Coastal erosion is also causing the coast lines to recede and therefore taking away space for which people build on. Even though coastal erosion causes issues it is also the effect of something, Humans! Nature has a way of keeping the world in balance, it creates things such as barrier islands and sand dunes to help protect against costal erosion. However, humans play a big part in messing up that balance by creating man-made structures that actually increase the damage of coastal erosion rather than preventing it. Some of these structures such as groins, jetties, breakwaters and seawalls, when used properly can help. Unfortunately, in most cases they are used improperly and cause more damage than they do to help. With this being said, there needs to be laws or guidelines put in place to implement the proper use of these structures to reduce the effects they have on coastal erosion.

Groins are man-made structures designed to trap sand as it is moved down the beach by the longshore drift. As the longshore drift current reaches the groin it is forced to not only slow down but also change direction. As stated by Carla Montgomery, a professor Emerita at the Northern Illinois University, in her book Environmental Geology Ninth Edition, the shoreline eventually ends up changing due to the change in velocity and flow of the current, which is caused by the use of groins (160). Although groins trap sand on one side, the erosion they cause on the other side, makes them detrimental to a beach environment. Homeowners who build groins on their beachfront properties in attempt to protect their beach, actually causes erosion of their neighbor’s property on the down drift side of the groin. Montgomery also exclaims, this build up of sand on one side and extreme erosion on the other side, causes the beach to become a scalloped shape instead...
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