The shorelines, wetlands, nearshore and beaches make up a complex ecosystem. When in equilibrium, these areas are not only beautiful, but provide invaluable habitat for critical species. When these areas are out of balance, we often see things happen that destabilize the the health and resilience of these “areas of critical concern”. Often, the symptoms of this imbalance show up as severe erosion, disappearing dunes, reduction in plant or animal life and more. All of these negative effects all stem from system destabilization. 90% of the time, these events are triggered by a seemingly unrelated man-made change to the environment.
While stopping beach erosion is what people know us for, understanding why stabilization of the beach is the first and most critical part of an ESS installation for long-term success.
Our ESS system is the first part of a much bigger ecosystem.
While first contact with our company usually revolves around solving an acute erosion problem, our systems offer a multitude of benefits far beyond stopping erosion. We’ve put a 5-step outline to complete naturalization and restoration of an area.
- ESS – Critical first step is to first stop erosion, begin the accretion process, and stabilize the beach area.
- Dune and back beach restoration – generally begins with snow fencing and limiting pedestrian traffic through sensitive areas; possible boardwalks and pathways to control traffic.
- Plant endemic species to capture sand and stabilize further, building better resilience to storm damage.
- Offshore artificial reef installation – in 30 to 40 feet of water to add additional storm protection, but more importantly to seed corals, sessile invertebrates, and bring fish back into the areas. As a tourist I dove on many “reef ball” installations, many years in a row. These artificial reefs were very good at enticing wildlife back to these once-depleted areas.
- Document, study, film, analyze… repeat steps 1-5 at a new location.
Once a beach is stabilized and natural accretion resumes, the beach restoration efforts can begin. ESS stabilization offers the greatest long-term prospects for success. We help nature restore beaches!