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Pitfalls of Shoreline Stabilization

Selected Case Studies

  • Book
  • © 2012


  • Ready reference on variety of methods
  • Global perspective on shoreline stabilization
  • Real-life examples
  • Comprehensive summary
  • Timely in the societal sea level response debate

Part of the book series: Coastal Research Library (COASTALRL, volume 3)

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About this book

At the coast all is not what it seems.  Decades of beachfront development have seen a variety of efforts to stabilize the shoreline to protect ill-placed beachfront property, both from shoreline erosion and from storm damage. Both of these problems become increasingly critical in a time of rising sea level.  Many natural beaches are backed by sea walls, while others have been transformed by whole series of groynes, offshore breakwaters and a plethora of other schemes. Many recreational beaches are actually artificial replicas of the real thing, emplaced to protect badly placed infrastructure and maintained only through ongoing costly beach nourishment.  However, all of these attempts to stabilize the shoreline are far from benign. Degradation and even complete loss of the all important recreational beach sometimes results from seawall emplacement. Increasingly, the choice of shoreline stabilization approach will depend upon plans for future response to rising seas which in many cases may involve retreat from the shoreline rather than holding the line.  This book explores, through a series of case studies from around the globe, the pitfalls of shoreline stabilization and provides a ready reference for those with an interest in shoreline management.  It is particularly timely in a time of global change.

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Table of contents (18 chapters)


From the reviews:

“This compendium of summaries of the impacts and unintended consequences of human attempts to stop coastal erosion … . Contributors describe human-built barriers or buffers for coastlines from a wide variety of settings, from the coast of Northern Ireland, to the Great Lakes in the US, to the Maldives. … chapters are instructive, analyze the situation, and adequately discuss approaches … . Summing Up: Recommended. … Professionals/practitioners.” (B. Ransom. Choice, Vol. 50 (6), February, 2013)

Editors and Affiliations

  • , School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, United Kingdom

    J. Andrew G. Cooper

  • Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, USA

    Orrin H. Pilkey

Bibliographic Information

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