Erosion is a natural part of nature. Water, wind, and gravity destroy shorelines, especially along the coast. Unfortunately, you can’t fully stop erosion, but you can use some tricks to slow the process. If you’ve been struggling with erosion at your dock, and you want to better protect your dock, check out these four tips to slow erosion.
1. Consider Beach Nourishment
When re-strengthening a beach to better withstand erosion, you need to consider forms of hard and soft armoring. Both protect against erosion. As the names suggest, soft armoring is a little less effective than hard armoring.
Beach nourishment is one form of soft armoring. The process involves adding more sand and soil to a beach to stabilize it after erosion. The new soil will last a long time, but you may need to add more soil in the future.
Some owners prefer to retreat. In other words, you allow the beach to move further inland. Again, the erosion will continue along the shoreline, but the new beach should last a longtime. The downside to this process is that it takes much longer than beach nourishment.
2. Rebuild an Existing Seawall
Hard armoring is a more durable option and includes seawalls. Many states prevent you from installing a seawall, but if there is already one there, you may be allowed to repair or replace it because it has been “grandfathered” in. The seawall works like a retaining wall and a barrier. It holds the sand and soil in place, preventing them from falling into the ocean. At the same time, a wall blocks most water from touching the soil.
Some owners prefer bulkheads, which are usually crafted with hard, durable stones but can be crafted from many materials. Again, these create a barrier between the water and shoreline. When installing a seawall or bulkhead, consider any wildlife that may need to reach the shoreline to eat, reproduce, etc.
3. Create Gentle Slopes
If your armoring options are limited, gravity becomes a major risk. Gravity and water work well together to tear away parts of soil. Therefore, if you have a steep slope down to the shore, water can rip away more and more soil because gravity is helping to pull the soil down. For this reason, creating gentle slopes to the shore is preferable.
Another problem with steep slopes is the force at which water hits them. Water hits against steep slopes and cliffs hard, easily pulling away more soil and stone. With gentle slopes, the energy is better absorbed because the water doesn’t collide suddenly into a barrier.
4. Plant Some Foliage
Finally, one of the best ways to fight erosion is with plants. Plants are amazing at holding soil in place, and they do this in many ways. First, the roots grip the soil so it’s less likely to get pulled away by water. In addition, some plants, especially ground coverage absorb water, giving the water time to sink into the soil slowly.
You can even use plants as soft armoring. Many owners place dead logs and other debris, such as stones, on the beach. While they won’t fully block water like a seawall, they can limit the amount of water that comes in contact with the soil.
Protecting the shoreline from erosion isn’t hard but does require maintenance. Gently sloping shores and lots of barriers against water (such as plants and walls) are the best ways to slow erosion. If you would like to know more about how to stop erosion around your dock, or if you need some services to improve your dock, contact us at Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc. today.