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What Are the Advantages of Seawalls for Owners and Wildlife?

What Are the Advantages of Seawalls for Owners and Wildlife?

The Advantages of Seawalls? Long-Lasting Protection for Homeowners and the Environment

Do you live along the Fox River or on the Chain O’Lakes? If so, you’ve probably seen your fair share of seawallsalso known as retaining walls. These steel, stone, or concrete structures commonly border the shoreline. So, what are the advantages of seawalls?

Seawalls Defend Against Erosion and Flooding

The primary purpose of a seawall is to protect 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 your home and land from flooding.

Retaining walls along coastal beaches and inland shorelines offer many advantages.

First, these walls help protect against surge flooding. Residents and visitors can then safely enjoy activities like biking, walking, and sightseeing along the shoreline.

In addition, this coastal protection prevents damage to the environment. Erosion and flooding can wash away soil and reduce your usable shoreline. They also both disrupt local ecosystems and harm wildlife.

Picture showing the installation of a seawall in a backyard to prevent erosion of sand.
Seawalls are a great way to prevent sand from eroding into the water over time.

The Advantages of Seawalls Last for Decades

The biggest argument against seawalls is the cost. While installing a wall is a big expense, seawalls offer a long-term solution.

Several types of seawalls can be installed. If your shoreline is along a calm lake or pond, you might select rip rap with stones of about 3 inches to 6 inches. Rip rap provides the look of tumbled rocks to secure the shoreline.

Busier waterways call for larger stones or a more substantial structure. A wall of heavy stones, called an outcropping, or a steel wall may be best.

Whatever the material, a seawall solution is long-lasting. Steel seawalls usually last about 35 years. Outcropping and rip rap, which use rocks and stones, can last a lifetime.

A seawall helps ensure a beautiful shoreline, as well as sustainability for the environment and wildlife.

Over time, it may even be cheaper than dealing with the consequences of flooding and erosion. Many property owners decide the benefits are too great to pass up.

Considering a Seawall?

Now that you know the advantages of seawalls, talk to the experts at Seawalls Unlimited.  We’re in McHenry, IL, in the greater Chicago area. Call 815-331-8830 to learn which type of seawall is best for you.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 16, 2016, and was updated on June 26, 2019.

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