Shore Protection services
A precondition for a successful shoreline restoration project is that all the parties involved have some understanding of the coastal morphological processes. They are then in a position to understand why the present situation has developed and why certain solutions will work and others will not.
The following should be considered in connection with shoreline protection and management projects:
- Consider the coastal area as a dynamic natural landscape. Make only interventions in the coastal processes and in the coastal landscape if the interests of the society are more important than preserving the natural coastal resource.
- Appoint special sections of the coast for natural development.
- Demolish inexpedient old protection schemes and re-establish the natural coastal landscape where possible.
- Minimise the use of coastal protection schemes, give high priority to the quality of the coast resource, and concentrate on shore protection.
- Preserve the natural variation in the coastal landscapes.
- Restrict new development/housing close to the coastline in the open uninhabited coastal landscape. Allow only such facilities, which require access to the sea.
- Maintain and improve the public access to and along the beach, legally as well as in practice.
- Reduce pollution and enhance sustainable utilisation of coastal waters.
This leads to the practical guidelines for shore protection in connection with coast protection, shore protection and shore restoration projects. They are mentioned in the next paragraph.
- We ork with nature, for instance by re-establishing a starved coastal profile by nourishment and by utilising site-specific features, such as strengthening semi-hard promontories.
- We select a solution which fits the type of coastline and which fulfils as many of the goals set by the stakeholders and the authorities as possible. It is quite often impossible to fulfil all goals, as they are often conflicting and because of budget limitations. It should be made clear to all parties, which goals are fulfilled and which are not. The consultant must make it completely clear what the client can expect from the selected solution; this is especially important if the project has been adjusted to fit the available funds.
- We propose a funding distribution, which reflects the fulfilment of the various goals, set by the parties involved.
- We Mmanipulate the rate and gradient of the littoral drift rate and gradient by use of a minimum number of structures. Preserve sections of untouched dynamic landscape where possible. Allow protection measures only if valuable buildings/infrastructure are threatened. This policy will preserve the natural coastal resources and the neighbouring sections will receive material as a result of erosion in the unprotected area.
- We secure passage to and along the beach.
- We enhance the aesthetic appearance, e.g. by minimising the number of structures. Few and larger structures is normally better than a lot of small structures. Preferably allow only projects which deal with an entire management unit/sediment cell and which have maximum shore protection. Individual projects tend to concentrate on coast protection.
- We minimise maintenance requirements to a level, which the owner(s) of the scheme is able to manage. A stand-alone nourishment solution may at first glance appear ideal, but it will normally not be ideal for the landowners, as recharge will be required at short intervals.
- We s ecure good local water quality and minimise the risk of trapping debris and seaweed.
- We s ecure safety for swimmers by avoiding structures generating dangerous rip currents. Avoid protected beaches as these give a false impression of safety for poor swimmers. Protected beaches at exposed sites tend to suffer from sand trapping in the sheltered area. If the water is too rough for swimming, a swimming pool, possibly in the form of a tidal pool, is a good solution.
- We provide good beach quality by securing that the beaches are exposed to waves, as the waves maintain the attractive sandy beaches. This will of course limit the time when swimming is possible, but making protected beaches often means safety hazards, poor beach quality and poor water quality.
- We are realistic and pragmatic, keeping in mind that the natural untouched coastline is utopia in highly developed areas. Create small attractive locations at otherwise strongly protected stretches if this is the only realistic possibility.