Article Series

Series: Coastal Engineering—Soft Structures

Soft engineering uses soft methods including dredging, beach nourishment, and beach scraping to limit erosion and achieve shoreline stabilization. If necessary, these methods are less intrusive to natural coastal processes compared with hard structures. Often, soft engineering is used to counteract the erosional effects of previous hard structure developments.

  • Chapter 1: Beach Nourishment

    heavy equipment spreading sand on a beach

    Beach Nourishment is the process of placing additional sediment on a beach or in the nearshore. A wider and higher beach can provide storm protection for coastal structures, create new habitat, and enhance the beach for recreation. Read more

  • Chapter 2: Dredging

    sand being pumped on to a beach

    Dredging is the removal of material, including sand, silt, gravel and other subaqueous materials from waterways. It is often used to keep waterways and ports navigable or to provide a source of sediment for nourishment projects. Read more

  • Chapter 3: Beach Scraping

    dunes rebuilt by beach scraping

    Beach Scraping is the process of reshaping beach and dune landforms with heavy machinery by redistributing sediment within the littoral system. Scraping aims to mimic natural beach recovery processes at an accelerated pace. Read more

  • Chapter 4: Sand Fencing

    wooden slat sand fenceing

    Sand Fencing can assist in building a new foredune or fill gaps in dune ridges. The fence reduces local wind speed and traps sand, with different fence configurations creating different dune forms and heights. Read more