We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

The Effects of Coastal Erosion

Updated February 21, 2017

The effects of coastal erosion can be quite dramatic depending on the scale of the land loss. Coastal erosion refers to any area along the coastline where wind and water are removing land. Erosion is the primary force that shapes coastlines, and in conjunction with a rising sea level and occasional flooding, it can dramatically change the appearance of coastal areas. Many organisations and governments are taking steps to minimise the damage of coastal erosion.

Loading ...


The coastline is an important habitat for many types of wildlife. The various habitats found on coastlines include sand dunes, sandy beaches, salt marshes and mud flats. These areas are rich in biodiversity, and while many coastal areas are protected from construction or destruction, this does not protect the habitats from coastal erosion. The loss of these habitats can cause some animal populations to go into decline, affecting other species that depend on these areas as food sources.


Many homes and buildings are constructed on coastal regions, as beachfront homes are often in high demand and coastal towns are often popular resort areas. Some homes at the water's edge risk of being submerged by the sea or falling over in a landslide. Homes in neighbourhoods in coastal areas risk flooding if beach erosion isn't controlled. Even though flooding happens infrequently it can produce serious property damage.

Economic Value

Land usage near coastal contains industrial facilities, agricultural uses and tourist facilities. This means that the economic value of land near coastal areas is quite high. As coastal erosion occurs the amount of land that can be used for these industries decreases, which in turn decreases the economic value of the land. Depending on the scale of the loss, this can cause prices to increase across the country, specifically for the agricultural industry.

Erosion Prevention Problems

Engineering solutions to coastal erosion, such as building seawalls and jetties, can prevent some coastal erosion. But these solutions may also disrupt ocean currents near the coast and cause more erosion of neighbouring beaches. Seawater stopped by an obstacle like a jetty will hit land nearby with even more force, producing sand loss and new erosion problems.

Loading ...

About the Author

Liz Tomas

Liz Tomas began writing professionally in 2004. Her work has appeared in the "American Journal of Enology and Viticulture," "BMC Genomics" and "PLoS Biology." She holds a Master of Science in food science from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in oenology at Lincoln University.

Loading ...
Loading ...