Beach Erosion: Causes and Remedies Beach Erosion Essay

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Beach Erosion: Causes and Remedies

Beach erosion is the removal of sand from a beach to deeper waters such as inlets, tidal shoals and bays ("What causes beach erosion," Scientific American, 2008). Beach erosion can have a number of different causes, but global warming is thought to have significantly increased the rate of beach erosion in the past decades. This is due to the melting polar ice caps which causes increased water levels and increased wearing-away of sand ("What causes beach erosion," Scientific American, 2008). Global warming also creates more severe storms and severe weather because of the increased levels of moisture in the atmosphere, also due to the melting polar ice caps ("What causes beach erosion," Scientific American, 2008).

Losing sand is significant, "since the beach both protects the land behind it and provides recreation areas and habitat for wildlife. The beach absorbs energy from the sea, and the wider the beach is, the more energy it will absorb before the waves reach landward developments.
So when sand is washed away, making the beaches recede, more damage is likely to be done to houses and developments" ("Erosion," World Geography, 2010). The ecosystem of the costal community can be fundamentally damaged by the erosion because of the impact upon animal life and habitats. It can also have a lasting impact on human life as well.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that between 80 and 90% of the sandy beaches along America's coastlines have been eroding for decades due to global warming ("What causes beach erosion," Scientific American, 2008). Costal communities dependent upon tourism and fishing for their livelihoods can lose critical revenue. Beach erosion reduces the property value of homeowners living by the shore. In an effort to stop beach erosion many homeowners and cities build seawalls to protect their property. But although this may shelter homes, this can actually accelerate the erosion. "Bulkheads and seawalls may accelerate beach erosion by reflecting wave energy off the facing wall, impacting adjacent property.....

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