A revetment is a type of armoring for the shoreline. Armoring refers to any action that will help slow erosion. Along with seawalls and bulkheads, a revetment is a type of hard armoring. Just like literal armor you wear, hard armoring is better at protecting the shoreline than soft armoring (adding more soil, planting beach grass, etc.).
The shoreline is particularly prone to erosion because of the constant exposure to water and aggressive waves that can move large amounts of soil at once. For this reason, if you own any costal property, you need to understand more about armoring, so keep reading to learn about these three benefits of installing a revetment.
1. They Absorb Energy
One reason the shoreline experiences high levels of erosion is due to the constant waves. Small, shallow waves pull small bits of soil each, but bigger, aggressive waves can do a lot of damage fast. The force of the wave hitting the shoreline can be enough to displace massive amounts of soil. Depending on the slope of the shoreline, strong waves may even knock off chunks of soil with one hit.
The revetment is so good at absorbing this energy because it is an entire system. One of the most important parts of the system is the underlayer, which allows drainage. Without drainage, pressure can build up behind the as water gets trapped. In some cases, a fabric filter is added to help absorb the water. Because the water is better absorbed, the risk of erosion is also reduced.
2. They Don’t Fully Cover the Shoreline
While seawalls and bulkheads fully cover the shoreline, revetments don’t. They have gaps between the wood, rocks, concrete, etc., which means they are less harmful to the environment. For example, seawalls can affect animals that live along the shoreline. These creatures often move in and out of the ocean, but if there is a seawall blocking them, they can’t.
A revetment, however, still has some exposed soil, which means the animals are less affected by the changing shoreline. As a result, fewer species are less likely to die off in that area, so you keep the natural beauty of the shoreline better intact. Seawalls may provide better protections, but they also replace the shoreline with an impassable wall.
3. They Are a More Affordable Alternative
Another benefit revetments have over seawalls and bulkheads is the cost. In most cases, you’ll pay $35 to $60 per square yard for your revetment. The exact price depends on many factors, including the material, the location of the project, and the accessibility of the materials. To compare, a seawall may cost you $500 to $1,200 per lineal foot.
As an added benefit, revetments last a long time. As long as they are installed correctly, so that they properly dissipate the energy from waves, a revetment can last. Plus, in some cases, if you use a revetment with other shoreline armoring techniques, you may actually better control beach nourishment. Beach nourishment is a leading cause of erosion, so fixing that will save you lots of money in the future.
If you live along the shoreline, you need to understand the risks of erosion and techniques for stopping erosion. Revetments are one solution to help armor your shoreline without drastically impacting the shoreline ecosystem.
With proper installation and regular maintenance, your revetment can last a long time, which saves you money on repairs, especially those related to erosion, which can become costly. If you are ready to request a quote for a revetment or if you want to know more about shoreline armoring in general, contact us at Abbots’ Construction Services, Inc., today.