Here at Renegar Construction, we have extensive experience in building boat docks, slips, and other structures, and we also have thorough knowledge of shoreline management. If you want to keep your waterfront property from eroding away, you may need to install one or more seawalls to protect the land from the water. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of seawalls and how they work.
What are Seawalls?
Seawalls are structures that are designed to protect shorelines from erosion by reflecting the energy of ocean waves back out to sea, rather than letting the energy damage the land. There are two main varieties of seawalls: vertical walls and rip-rap embankments. We will go over each in more detail below.
- Vertical Walls- Vertical seawalls essentially act like retaining walls for the shoreline, preventing the land from crumbling downhill into the water. In addition, they reflect wave energy back out to sea, ensuring that the waves do not erode the shore. Often, piles are installed in front of vertical seawalls to further decrease wave energy before the waves reach the walls, increasing the walls’ effectiveness.
- Riprap Embankments- Riprap embankments are a type of seawall that consists of rubble mounds, porous rocks, sandbags, and similar materials. Just like vertical seawalls, the piles break up wave energy and help protect the shore from erosion. While riprap embankments are not as effective as vertical seawalls, they are cheaper to construct and generally effective for low-impact areas, which makes them a useful option.