Shoreline Stabilization, Essay Example

Shoreline erosion is a natural process that occurs along shorelines, river banks, streams, etc.  There are a variety of techniques that are applied in order to stabilize shorelines and prevent erosion or damage .  In addition, there is a wide range of techniques due to the scale and type of shoreline such as Live Plantings, Bioengineering, and Hard Armoring.

Live Plantings is the planting of vegetation in order to prevent erosion and stabilize shorelines.  The advantage of live planting is that the cost is low and homeowners can use this approach as well.  Bioengineering refers to the combination of both man-made structures and plant material in order to produce a thick blockage of vegetation used to shield and protect shorelines.  The bioengineering technique contains several different types of techniques or materials that can be used, such as coconut fiber rolls or erosion control blankets.  The disadvantage of bioengineering as a technique is that is does not help in severe cases.  Hard Armoring is another technique that is used in shoreline stabilization.  This refers to the use of large rocks, which are placed on the slope of the stream or shoreline, and large baskets containing rocks, which are placed along the bank or shoreline. The disadvantage of hard armoring is that it is costly. Hard armoring is also one of the techniques that are considered more permanent and mostly needed where wave action is too strong for live planting or bioengineering; whereas, the live planting and bioengineering are not permanent.  (Riparian Restoration)

In addition to the natural events that cause shoreline erosion, there are man-made events that also take part in shoreline erosion and the need for stabilization, such as clearing vegetation, and the building of jetties at river mouths.  The clearing of vegetation leads to an increase in shoreline erosion due to the clearing of the landscape and vegetation along a coastline in area where construction of houses or buildings are planned for development and therefore, there is a lack of protection to the shoreline.  The building of jetties is a necessity for transport of ships and boats into harbors; however, this also causes a decrease in the accumulation of sand upstream of the jetty, which further causes an increase in shoreline erosion.

References

Riparian Restoration.  Using Stabilization Techniques To Control Erosion and Protect Property.

Riparian Restoration  Fact Sheets Series.  Vo. 8.  Retrieved on May 10, 2013 from: http://www.tva.gov/river/landandshore/stabilization/pdf/stabilization.pdf.