This report is intended for planning, regulatory, and other local government officials whose duties
include some involvement i shoreline erosion prevention measures. The discussion is limit to the
shorelines of sheltered waters that are not subject to t direct action of undiminished oceanic waves.
These would include: bays, sounds, tidal rivers, and the Great Lakes.
The erosion problems that are experienced today are oft caused by failure to recognize that
shorelines have always be areas of continuous and sometimes dramatic change. This lack understanding
of shoreline processes has been catastrophic for ma property owners, both private and public. An
objective of the report is to show that the situation is not without remedies and large variety of
reasonably low cost alternatives are available However, it must be cautioned, that while appearing
deceptive simple, most of them require careful judgment and design, and c entail considerable investment
to correctly implement. Therefore before any action is taken, it is important to recognize and understand
the natural forces at work in the general area of a propos project. By considering the overall view rather
than condition just at the site, a broader perspective of the problem and possible solutions is developed,
and a more informed decision can be mad
The solutions presented herein are referred to as "low cost." That does not necessarily mean they
are "cheap". In fact, practically any properly implemented shore protection method is expensive. The
term "low cost" simply means that the various measure are commensurate with the value of property
being protected as they are among the lower priced options available. Whether solution is considered a
low cost alternative or not, however, up to the individual or community installing it. The cost of t project
must be weighed against both the objective and subjective value of what is being lost to erosion.
This report has five sections. The first provides a b understanding of shoreline processes
and the causes of erosion. The second describes a variety of devices as possible solutions. The
third provides guidance for selection among the protection alternatives. The fourth outlines
permit requirements. And as this report serves only as an introduction, the fifth provides a
directory of other sources of help.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has produced this report as a public service. Unless
otherwise noted, the devices described herein have been utilized at sites throughout the United States to
slow or arrest erosion problems. However, successful use of the material presented depends on
numerous factors that are peculiar to individual situations. Therefore, the government cannot guarantee
that any of the described methods will be successful for any specific application, nor does the
government necessarily endorse any of the devices presented.
The first requirement in solving an erosion problem or reviewing a proposed solution is to
understand the processes and forces at work. Without such basic knowledge, any solutions are likely to
be misguided and inappropriate. The following presents basic information about shoreline processes as a
foundation for the subsequent discussion.