From Around The Country
From an article in Michigan Live
“Experts say the long-used practice of hard-armoring shorelines with seawalls harms shoreline habitat and degrades water quality, while more natural methods can minimize negative impacts to waterways.
“Watershed experts encourage using nature-based solutions for shoreline erosion.
“Traditional shoreline hardening approaches tend to reduce ecological functionality and make erosion worse for neighboring property owners,” said Heather Smith, baykeeper for nonprofit The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay.
From an article in the CT Mirror (New Haven, CT)
“As towns and cities on the shoreline face this threat, finding an effective method of coastal protection becomes a priority. Right now, traditional erosion and flood control structures such as seawalls and revetments are common along Connecticut’s shoreline and are found in towns such as East Haven and Branford. However, these structures can physically block coastal habitats from the water, according to Dr. Juliana Barrett, an associate extension educator for Connecticut Sea Grant.
“One of the big issues with a seawall is that you put up the seawall and you’re blocking the land-water interface,” Barrett said.
Susan Jacobson, another supervising environmental analyst with DEEP, has a simple explanation for separating living shorelines from traditional erosion and flood control structures.
“If a turtle isn’t able to get from the water to the resource behind it, it’s a flood and erosion control structure,” Jacobson said. With a living shoreline, the turtle would not be blocked off from the water, according to Jacobson.
Another drawback of traditional flood control measures like seawalls is the cost to replace them, said Alex Krofta, an ecological restoration project manager from the New Haven nonprofit environmental action group Save the Sound.
“[Seawalls] often have a design life, and they don’t last forever. And when you do end up having to replace those, that I think is where the costs really add up,” Krofta said.