For those of us who live and work in tropical areas- it is not uncommon to take notice of how the weather-as well as our everyday habits can contribute or take away from the beauty of our natural landscaping. While it is nearly impossible to prevent natural forces such as water, wind, and fire from changing the structure of our environment. It is important to understand how protecting the Earth’s natural resources will dramatically change our standard of living but also our overall sustainability longevity. If we do not come to terms with the lasting effects shoreline erosion can have over time–more and more of the earth will be consumed by water…
Now you may be wondering…
“How we will sustain ourselves and standards of living if, in the next twenty, fifty or hundred years–our natural landscaping has disappeared…and has been completely consumed by water?”
While there is no possible way to predict the future of our ecosystem and our subsequent standards of living. The first stepping stone on the path to preserving our natural resources. And protecting our shrinking shorelines is by educating ourselves on the environment and learning about this wonderful place that we call home.
Some of the common signs of shoreline erosion are…
- Overly exposed roots from vegetation near the shoreline
- Palm trees that are reaching out towards the ocean
- A noticeably reduced coastline
It is imperative to understand the damage that elements such as shoreline erosion can have; not just on our captivating ocean shorelines, but also agriculture, animals, our food. Shoreline erosion and soil erosion are often two of the most commonly overlooked problems- that are lost in the sea of environmental issues such as global warming, pollution and waste management.
One of the most common and frequently minimized problems that are affecting our day to day lives and the function of our ecosystem is shoreline and soil erosion. Soil erosion is the disturbance in the natural topsoil that protects the earth. Erosion is the primary culprit of sunny Florida’s beautiful–yet slowly shrinking coastline. While the reduction of our shoreline and the consistent removal of nutrient-dense topsoil is often contributed to the increase in rising water levels- this is not the only cause of shoreline erosion.
The removal of botanical life and heavy vegetation that acts as a border between the land and sea- gives more leeway for high tides and rising water levels to slowly reduce the amount of natural landscaping. Some experts claim that heavy deforestation is the leading cause of not only shoreline erosion- but also soil erosion which is negatively impacting our ecosystems as well the nutrients we are putting into our bodies.
Water. Not just ocean waves are an unstoppable force that is a leading factor in the vast removal of the coast. Rainwater can be just as damaging to the environment as irresponsible water use. The excessive use of sprinklers, hoses and other water distribution systems has a detrimental impact the shoreline due to runoff water- but also irresponsible water redistributes topsoil, removes essential nutrients that are absorbed into our food.
Wind is another huge force in conductive energy-it has the power to move, shift or totally alter natural landscaping- this is no exception to both soil and shoreline erosion.
Excessive beach side recreational activity- Now you may be thinking “Do I need to stop going to the beach to protect the environment and soil erosion?” Luckily- the answer here is no. The shoreline can be negatively impacted things such as making sand castles at the beach- the unnatural distortion and movement of sand- paves a way for ocean tides to creep up higher and higher and slowly reduce the coastline.
Natural Elements: unstoppable natural forces such as hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons and other natural disasters have the power to alter the Earth’s natural landscape by pushing tidal waves onto the shores and taking large pieces of land along with it…
- Human Activity: Man-Made Landscaping Alterations- What would a list of shoreline erosion be without a mention man-made landscaping alternations? It is our goal as a society to further improve our standard of living- by altering natural water conduits such as dams- we are actually causing more damage to the environment than good.
Now that we have a strong background established on how shoreline erosion occurs… Is there anything that can be done to stop it?
The answer is a resounding yes.
While there is not much can be done about the corrosive activity correlated to elements such as water, wind and natural disasters. However, there are several steps that we can take as a society to push for a better environment and a fully restored shoreline.
Create barriers: by aligning natural structures such as planting new vegetation or placing rocks as a protective barrier. This will significantly decrease the reduction in the shoreline and the results will last for years to come.
Invest in shoreline restoration efforts: Thanks to modern technology and a little ingenuity- there are a variety of talented landscapers that specialize in the renewal of natural coastlines! These experts have conceived ways to restore the beauty of the coast by incorporating biodegradable materials that restore the shore to its former glory.
Participate in responsible water use: While it may seem harmless to run sprinklers and hoses- the runoff is heavily contributing to all forms of erosion that are negatively impacting the environment. By making small, simple changes like responsible water use- you are making a huge impact on the environment!
There are so many negative factors that are impacting the world we live in global warming, air pollution, and shoreline erosion- may seem like an overwhelming challenge to combat. One does not need an advanced environmental degree or even a green thumb to make positive contributions to the environment. Making little changes in our day to day routines like practicing responsible water usage can make a huge impact five, ten or even fifty years from now. There is no reason to fear the impact of shoreline erosion- we simply need to make an effort to educate ourselves and brainstorm new ways to protect this beautiful world we live in. See more visit: Lake & Wetland Management, Inc.