When imaging the Sunshine State, thoughts of expansive ocean, lots of sunshine and warm, sandy beaches often prevail. With these preconceived notions of Florida in mind, it’s no wonder why vacation-goers seek refuge from subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions.
However, with 5% of Florida’s shoreline falling victim to devastating erosion, onlookers should reevaluate their warped conceptions of this northeastern state’s beachfront resorts. For those still clinging to daydreams of cloudless skies and spotless sandscapes, it’s time to acknowledge that this picturesque scenery is prone to intense natural disasters, including tropical storms, hurricanes, and floods. Unfortunately, all of these disasters erode the same beaches that vacationers flock to at the first sign of snowfall.
Beaches naturally migrate as waves and storm conditions move sand along the coast, but rising sea levels and the sandy soil in Florida have accelerated the process. As a result, beachfront structures on the beach are under attack.
To protect their property, Florida homeowners may be interested in contacting retailers, such as these, when devising erosion control strategies. For those homeowners hoping to roll up their sleeves and try their hand at combating disastrous shoreline erosion, consider these popular techniques.
One short-term solution to shoreline erosion is beach nourishment. This strategy involves importing sand to replenish eroded areas. Beach nourishment is a tried-and-true remedy for recreational beaches, as it allows the shoreline to return to its previous state.
There are a few issues with this technique, however. It can be expensive to have sand imported. Additionally, the sand must be sourced from an alternate location. The removal of sand may cause the source location to suffer, though people are investigating the cost-effectiveness of using crushed glass in place of sand. The most considerable drawback, however, is that beach nourishment does nothing actually to combat erosion.
Erosion control blankets
Erosion is most effective on unprotected landscapes. If you have a shoreline with a steep slope, you might consider using an erosion control blanket. Erosion control blankets are made from synthetic or natural materials and create a protective layer between soil and environmental conditions. Rather than being carried away by wind or water, the sandy slope remains trapped under the blanket. Additionally, the erosion control blanket stabilizes these sloped areas, allowing plants to grow to provide further stability.
Another way for you to protect your shoreline is to construct a barrier. There are a few ways to install a barrier, but a standard solution is to place a protective layer of boulders over the sand. This strategy is undesirable because the boulders replace idyllic, sandy beaches, but it does prevent waves from eating away at the land. Unfortunately, a sea-resistant barrier may be the only solution to protect shorelines forced to absorb the towering waves’ impact.
Building a terrace into a steep slope may also help prevent erosion. By dividing the hill into a series of descending, flat platforms supported by solid walls, existing sand has fewer opportunities to tumble down the slope and wash away. You can also landscape the terracing with native plants to create beautiful scenery to match your taste.
Plants are incredibly effective at preventing erosion. Their roots hold soil in place, and their leaves can help protect the ground from water or wind’s direct impact. While sand is a far-from-ideal growing medium, some plants can flourish in these unfavorable conditions.
Utilizing plants for increased ground stability is known as creating a living shoreline. Living shorelines are often not used for coastlines on the open ocean, but they may be effective for sheltered areas. When successful, this stabilization technique can produce a thriving environment for a variety of life. The National Football League’s environmental restoration project 100 Yards of Hope incorporates living shoreline strategies to prevent erosion on local Tampa Bay sand dunes.
Keep your shoreline from being washed away
Erosion can be an incredibly destructive process. If you are worried about your Florida home being swept away by encroaching waves, there are multiple strategies to keep your property safe.