Our beaches are very important to us as they allow us to surf, enjoy the San Diego sun, and hang out in beautiful places. Because we love and appreciate our beaches so much, it's also important that we protect them now and in the coming years. There are tons of things you can do to help take care of them and if you’re looking for some concrete suggestions you can check here.
While the link will give you some suggestions on how to help out, there are always more things you can do. One great way to care for the beaches is to become more informed about the problems that affect them. One major dilemma in San Diego is the coastal erosion and the way in which it is being dealt with. Read on to learn more about coastal erosion, plans of action, and what you can do to help care for our beaches!
What is Coastal Erosion?
Coastal erosion is just what it sounds like. It’s a loss of land due to rising sea levels, which means the land next to the ocean (the sand on the beach or cliffs next to the water) is breaking down and getting displaced. What this means for us is we are losing the area of land by the water which could affect beach access, homes near the water, and communities as a whole. It can also affect ecosystems and other forms of life that rely on the area which is eroding. Luckily, there are some plans to combat this erosion but, while some are sustainable ways to improve the situation, others like coastal armoring, are not.
What are Rising Sea Levels?
Once again, the name is very explanatory. Rising sea levels is when the amount of water in the ocean is growing due to melting ice caps. While these rising sea levels are affecting the world and ecosystems in many different ways, one noticeable way is that the rising levels of water are making the ocean levels rise to cover the land on the beach. This is all an effect of climate change and is negative because in the years to come the sea levels will rise to a point where there will be coastal erosion, and a lack of land near the water.
Coastal armoring is a way to deal with rising sea levels. It uses physical structure to protect the beach and while it is intended as a way to decrease coastal erosion, it can actually increase it and cause other problems. It is a short term solution that can limit access to beaches.
Positive Plans in Action
While coastal armoring may not be the best solution to protect our beaches, luckily, there are alternative ways to deal with coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Many cities in San Diego have begun to put positive plans into action to sustainably deal with these problems in a way that does not limit beach access.
One large way that many cities are taking action is by monitoring the sea level rises, coastal erosion and its effects on beaches in order to come up with a dynamic plan that correctly deals with the problems of specific beaches. Early planning is also important to anticipate and outline the long term effects of these problems in order to solve them.
Beach nourishment is another way in which beaches are being protected. This is when sand or sediment is added to beaches to replace the eroded areas. This can help stabilize and widen the beach, allowing for accessibility.
Unfortunately, these are some of the problems that have affected beaches in San Diego, but as you can see, steps are already being taken to deal with the effects of climate change. Many beaches in San Diego already have plans of action in place so if you want to know how to get involved or become more informed, check with your local government to see how our beaches are being saved!