The Risk of Coastal Erosion and How to Help Your Community – Guest Post

Our coastal communities and ecosystems are an important part of life on Earth. Not only do our coastlines provide a home to 10% of the global human population, but they also serve as important habitats for a host of biodiverse plants and animals. Due to the effects of climate change and rising sea levels, all life on the coasts are threatened by coastal erosion.

Coastal erosion is a phenomenon where sea level rise, strong waves, and flooding wear down or erode any sand, rock, or soil that makes up the coastline. This wearing down of the coast results in the destruction of property and essential habitats like beaches and wetlands. Because coastal erosion is partially a result of human activity (in addition to natural environmental occurrences), it’s important for humans to do their part in mitigating the risk coastal erosion poses to our communities.

This Coastal Cleanup Month, it’s important to remember to do what you can to improve our seaside environment and give back to your community. For ideas on how to advocate for and reduce the risk of erosion in your coastal community, check out some things you can do.

  1. Engage in Habitat Restoration

This September is Coastal Cleanup Month. Consider donating some of your time this month to help restore a coastal habitat near you. Whether you live near a beach or a wetland, finding a way to give back to the environment will benefit everyone. Find a local organization that helps coastal habitats by replanting native plants that will help secure soil and sand and keep it from eroding. These types of restoration efforts often need more manpower to help benefit larger areas, so volunteering is a great way to give back.

September 18th is also Coastal Cleanup Day. Participating in a beach cleanup can do a world of good for a seaside ecosystem. Things like trash and plastic pollution can make its way into our oceans and also contribute to the degradation of vulnerable ecosystems. On this day, spend some time taking care of and preserving the wonderful place where the land meets the sea.

  1. Advocate for Living Shorelines

Living shorelines are a type of green infrastructure that uses natural vegetation, rocks, and soil to stabilize coastal ecosystems like bays and estuaries. They act as a buffer between strong waves and the land and help prevent erosion. Additionally, they also benefit marine ecosystems by creating a sub-tidal zone that is shallow enough for a variety of plants and animals.

Projects that develop living shorelines are sometimes publicly funded. Get engaged and advocate for a living shoreline if one doesn’t currently exist in your area by attending a public forum in your local community. Also, you seek out local programs and private organizations to volunteer your time or donate money to fund a living shoreline near you.

  1. Take Part in a Community Mitigation Project

If you live in a coastal area, you may be concerned about the destruction of both the environment and your property. If you’re wondering how to prevent coastal erosion where you live, check with local officials to see their advice for your property and location. Community mitigation projects and initiatives that are focused on natural erosion and flooding not only save property costs but human lives as well. It’s important to develop further awareness of these programs and support local strategies designed to protect our coasts.

With climate change on the move, our coastlines are vulnerable to destruction. Do your part to help protect our coasts by raising your awareness and getting involved. Whether it’s something as easy as volunteering for a beach cleanup or habitat restoration project to advocating for better community coast management in your area, you have the power to help your community. For more ideas on how to minimize the risk of coastal erosion, check out this graphic from The Zebra.



Guest Author: Pia De Los Reyes
Pia is a writer and content marketer with an M.A. in Communication. She specializes in writing for the eco, technology, business, and insurance spaces. Her passion for science communication and the environment started young when she interned with the National Park Service, and now she aims to inform and inspire others to advocate against climate change with their words and their actions.



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