Coastal Erosion: Causes and Solutions

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Levardis Smith
Katherine Luce
LR10 – Intro to Library Research
16 November 2010

Coastal Erosion: Causes and Solutions

More than half the world’s population lives in coastal regions, and many people visit the coast frequently. Most come for seaside recreation, but some also wonder about the origins of coastal scenery. From the United States to Australia to the UK and back, our coastlines are disappearing and we have been trying to stop it. Up and down the United States coastline, residents are worried about undermined cliffs, vanishing beaches and houses toppling into the sea. The California coast, which has soft cliffs of sedimentary rock and is heavily populated, regularly has incidents of housing damage as cliffs erode. In Australia, serious storms have eroded the beaches along the southeast section of the continent. In London, boats have been rubbing against the ocean floor and digging into sections of sedimentary rock. Waves, generated by storms, wind, or fast moving motor crafts, cause coastal erosion, which may take the form of long-term losses of sediment and rocks, or merely the temporary redistribution of coastal sediments; erosion in one location may result in accretion nearby. After many centuries of coastal erosion, can we save our coasts?

Works Cited

Barlow, Zeke. "Coastal erosion problems highlighted in new study." Ventura County Star (CA) 02 Nov. 2010: n. pag. Points of View Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. Summary: The California coastline has a natural ebb and flow of dumping sand on the shore and taking it away. But continued development along the coast, compounded with the alteration of the rivers that carry sand to the beaches, has so drastically changed the system that the natural processes are hampered. Sand fills up the man-made harbors and millions are spent to pump it onto beaches -- just to be carried away by the sea. River rocks once headed for the beaches are caught in debris basins, then removed and sold to communities where the beaches are falling away. Ocean walls meant to keep the sea at bay eventually contribute to erosion. A jetty built in one town keeps the current of sand from migrating to the next town down the coast. Evaluation:

Currency: It was dated Nov 02, 2010, which is just over 2 weeks ago, so it is really relevant. Relevance: All along the more than 1,100 miles of coastline, the homes, freeways and communities that grew there precisely because of the beach are now threatened by it as erosion eats away the sand -- in part because of the development itself. Authority: Published in the Ventura County Star by Zeke Barlow. Information provided by a representative of The California Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup (CCSMW), Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (BEACON), councilmen, and geologists. It is based on studies done all over California and the western coast of the USA. Purpose: Part of the goal of the report is to keep the work up now and get people to address problem areas before it's too late -- because maintenance is a lot cheaper than repairs. The report also points out how coastal towns need to work regionally, because sand has huge movement patterns along the coast. One town's actions can affect others miles away. Search Method: I logged onto Points of View and typed in Coastal Erosion. I got 530 results, so I went and clicked on the newspaper tab to get 484 results. Then I narrowed that down by clicking on Publication and searching for a newspaper in CA; I chose the Ventura County Star.

Begley, Sharon. “Don’t Just ‘Do Something’.” Newsweek. Newsweek. 10 June 2010: n.pag. Web. 15 November 2010. Summary: The blocking of inlets to stop the oil spill in the gulf. If they don’t block the inlets, then oil will reach the wetlands, and they’ll be toast. (If you think it’s tough to clean oil from a bird or beach, try cleaning it from the roots and stems of a wetland’s grass and reeds.) Altering tidal currents could also...
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