Shore-Restoration Methods All Have Their Upsides and Their Drawbacks

Scott Gurian | April 23, 2014 | Sandy
Rebuilding dunes, replenishing beaches and building walls can be effective -- but at a price

Credit: Emma Lee
Sandy Dunes
There’s good news and bad news — sort of — when it comes to workable ways to safeguard the Jersey Shore.

The good news is that there are at least three effective ways to protect beaches and their environs — rebuilding sand dunes, building sea walls and replenishing beaches.

But, as reporter Scott Gurian wrote recently for NJ Spotlight, all three methods have drawbacks.

Dunes absorb the ocean’s energy but erode in the process. Sea walls disperse that same energy, and may accelerate erosion at the places where the walls end. And replenishing beaches requires carting in more sand, which is expensive.

Gurian talked recently with Alan Tu of WHYY Newsworks, a partner of NJ Spotlight, about shore-protection measures.