What Are Seawalls, and What Do They Do for Me?
Do you live along the Fox River or on the Chain O’Lakes? If so, you’ve probably seen your fair share of seawalls, otherwise known as retaining walls. They’re the steel, stone, or concrete structures that commonly border the shoreline. So, why are they there? What are the advantages of installing a seawall?
For a more in-depth look at everything you need to know about retaining walls, see this guide from Seawalls Unlimited.
Seawalls Protect Against Flooding and Erosion
The primary purpose of a seawall is protecting residential shorelines from upland erosion and surge flooding. A seawall acts as a coastal defense to these types of events. When a wave crashes against the shore, the seawall redirects a lot of that energy back to the water. This greatly reduces erosion of the shoreline. It also protects residential areas from flooding.
There are many advantages to using retaining walls along coastal beaches and inland shorelines.
First, these walls will help to provide protection against surge flooding. This means residents and visitors can enjoy activities like biking, walking, and sightseeing along the shoreline without being in danger.
Additionally, this coastal protection also prevents damage to the environment. Erosion and flooding can wash away soil and reduce the usable land on property owners’ shorelines. They also both disrupt local ecosystems and can harm wildlife.
Are Seawalls Worth the Cost?
The biggest argument against seawalls is how expensive they are to install. However, it’s important to consider all the advantages they bestow. A seawall helps ensure a beautiful shoreline, as well as sustainability for the environment and wildlife. In the end, it may even be cheaper than dealing with the consequences of flooding and erosion. Many property owners end up deciding that the benefits are too great to pass up.
If you are interested in learning more about installing or maintaining seawalls in McHenry, IL and the greater Chicago area, call Seawalls Unlimited today!
This post was originally published in January 2016, and has been updated for thoroughness and accuracy.