Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Human Impact on Coasts

  • Richard A. DavisJrEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_175-2


Human activity along the coast has both positive and negative impacts on the natural environments. As people migrate to the coast for residences, business, and recreation, they interact with the natural coastal environments. For the most part because the coast is a very dynamic system and changes can occur rapidly, people make the effort to control the nature and magnitude of these changes. The most important of these changes occur on the beach and typically are related to erosion of the beach. Beach erosion is widespread and causes significant problems for both the use of and protection by beaches. Various structures such as seawalls, groins, and breakwaters have been constructed to help protect beaches from erosion. Many of such structures cause more problems than they solve. Such attempts to control the nature of changes on the beach are among the more negative impacts from humans. During the past few decades, beach nourishment has been used to help manage this...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Harte Research InstituteTexas A&M UniversityCorpus ChristiUSA