Beach Erosion Makes Waves on California Coastlines: The Erosion Control Strategies Servings as Life Rings

Beach erosion happens when the waves and wind wear down the shoreline. The waves and wind carry the sand away, moving it to the ocean floor or other beaches. When erosion becomes extreme, it can cause damage to homes along the coast. Stopping coastal erosion protects beaches and property developed on them. 

Erosion can be dangerous for homeowners as it can weaken foundations. Often, decay happens below the surface, so homeowners and business owners cannot see what happens deep into the foundation. Moisture can seep into the porous foundation and weaken the most vital part of the home. Fortunately, several strategies exist to control erosion. 


A natural solution to slowing erosion is vegetation. With the help of revegetation seed from providers like Granite Seed, mitigating devastating soil erosion is possible. Planting beach grass and other coastal plants creates an anchor that keeps the sand from swimming off with the waves and blowing around in the wind. 


Jetties are long structures that extend from channels to block the waves from attacking the coastlines. The jetties extend perpendicular to the waves. 

Most jetty builders use stone, steel, timber, and concrete to protect the sand and keep it from entering the channels. Unfortunately, erosion occurs on the up-current side, but engineers can bring more sand in to replenish the loss. 

Beach nourishment

In areas where jetties, breakwaters, and other structures aren’t permitted, property owners can use a technique called beach nourishment. This solution includes adding more sand to a beach to widen it and slow erosion. It is a temporary problem because the waves and wind move the replenished sand. 


Breakwaters are a bit like jetties, as they run at an angle to the shore. Unlike jetties, the angle is less than perpendicular. Breakwaters block the waves, allowing the beach to grow rather than erode. When waves crash at the breakwater, they drop the sediment, strengthening the wall of stone and timber. 


Engineers build seawalls to prevent erosion. Seawalls keep waves from touching beaches. Homeowners appreciate them because they are an effective way to prevent erosion. Seawalls’ effectiveness comes at a price, as they can be expensive to install and maintain. 


Groins are long structures built on beaches that extend perpendicular to the beach and water. These structures block the longshore currents and protect the beach behind them. Groins change the way sand moves as the current strikes the wall, then slows and drops sediment on the up-current side. The down-current side experiences erosion as the waves pick up and move the sand.


Geotextiles are a new technology that reduces erosion using a permeable blanket covering the sand. It filters the sand, so it doesn’t move with the waves and wind. It can help retain moisture to encourage vegetation anchoring in the sand. 

Wrap up

Several solutions exist to slow erosion and protect property in sensitive coastal areas. These fixes have various price points and lifespans. Before selecting a form of erosion control, work with an engineer to choose the most effective solution. 


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