The Environmental Cost of Erosion
There are thousands of articles, anecdotes, and studies showing how severe erosion is affecting our precious shorelines.
If you have been fortunate enough to grow up near the beach, you've probably noticed how different the beaches look
today. You may have noticed how there is less wildlife or plantlife, or how the dunes seem smaller or are "protected" by being surrounded by snow fencing. You may remember having a "long walk on hot sand" to get to the water from the boardwalk.
And now, the boardwalk was pulled up or completely washed away.
You are not imagining it. Chances are good that you live in an area where erosion is eating away at the beaches and dunes. It's an epidemic affecting coastlines worldwide.
While it is sad to see for people who love their beaches, it is
devastating to the plants and animals that rely on healthy
shorelines for survival.
Beaches and dunes are a critical ecosystem, rich in bio-diversity. Healthy beaches that are growing (known as
being in a a state of "net accretion") provide a continuous supply of sand to build and maintain healthy dunes.
Here are a few reasons as to why healthy beaches are important:
(and what many of us
already lost to severe beach erosion)
- Stable beaches and dunes are a natural storm-buffer zone, protecting the land, homes and infrastructure.
- Dune grasses trap more and more windblown sand, helping to continuously grow the dunes. Plant life only thrives in stable environments.
- Beaches and dunes are critical nesting areas for turtles, horseshoe crabs, Grunion (Leuresthes Tenuis), countless crustaceans and migratory birds.
Beaches and wetlands are crucial to their survival.
- Wide beaches, dunes and wetlands are critical in slowing our fresh-water runoff.
- Shore plants absorb CO2 and nitrogen before it reaches the ocean. Chemicals, such as lawn fertilizers that run into storm sewers after a big rain, travel to the shoreline and pollute the nearshore causing algal blooms and contributing to hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the water that kill the animals that live there). Some types of algal blooms (like "red tide") are downright dangerous and toxic to humans.
- And probably the most important reason: Wide beaches and healthy coastlines provide a natural barrier that protects our inland fresh water table (drinking and irrigation water for our food) by preventing salination, contamination, and depletion.
Of course, let’s not forget that people LOVE to recreate at the beach and feel
connected to nature. Unfortunately, most of the beaches in the world are disappearing due to erosion.
But, there is hope.
There is a solution.
EnviroShore Systems has environmentally friendly technology that reverses beach erosion and builds beaches using nature’s wave energy - no dredging, no seawalls, and no rock groins.