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Continued spending on hard engineering coastal defences cannot be justified in geomorphological, economic or environmental terms.

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Introduction

Coastal Hazards and Management "Continued spending on hard engineering coastal defences cannot be justified in geomorphological, economic or environmental terms." Hard Engineering: In civil engineering of shorelines, hard engineering is generally defined as the use of concrete break walls or steel sheet piling to stabilize shorelines and achieve safety.1 Soft Engineering: Soft engineering is the use of ecological principles and practices to reduce erosion and achieve the stabilization and safety of shorelines, while enhancing habitat, improving aesthetics, and saving money. Soft engineering is achieved by using vegetation and other materials to soften the land-water interface, thereby improving ecological features without compromising the engineered integrity of the shoreline.2 The two problems associated with coastal hazards are: 1) Erosion and loss of land and property to the sea 2) Coastal flooding These two problems are a headache to the people living near the coastline. Many solutions have been suggested. Their property is eroded away by the sea, into which they have invested a lot of money. Along with property, normal landscape is eroded away which is quite valuable to hotel owners. The place attracts a lot of tourists thus generating a lot of profit for hotel and restaurant owners and other local businesses. ...read more.

Middle

The costs of repairing would soon exceed the profit being made. As these structures are improved they would make the environment look ugly, as it would lose its natural beauty and would consist of only man made objects so people will eventually move away from these areas to areas of natural beauty. Since the structures would need constant repair, as well as the beach needing to be refilled constantly, lots of men and machinery would be working around the clock. So the noise pollution from the machinery would not be good for either the environment or the people living nearby. They would prefer to move away. This goes for the tourists as well. They have come to enjoy their holidays, away from the busy machineries and to have peace and quiet. When they do not get this in a certain area they will move to another area, so that area will lose customers. As is said the businesses are where the customers go. So the businesses will follow behind. This is what is slightly happening in the Estoril area. A business building has been abandoned and is now to be torn down because there are not that many customers coming to that place as there were before. ...read more.

Conclusion

The results that are obtained are not immediate but take quite a while, which is the cause of people's impatience thus they prefer hard engineering which brings immediate results. People in today's world are materialistic and money hungry. They would like to earn as much as possible, that is why many proposals from soft engineering cannot be implemented to an extent where results can be seen because of political implications. Hard engineering cannot be justified in terms of sea processes, impact on the environment and also economy wise. However, it is the people who have a say in whether the structures should be constructed or not, not the environment. Since many people have the ability to buy holiday houses, farm houses, go to beach resorts, go to the beach to spend their holiday, they would like these places to be preserved. For this they are ready sacrifice the environment. Human nature has a great impact on today's society especially on the environment. Greed is a big factor in many proposals and choices. People look for their benefit only in any sort of project, and thus think short term, which results in the creation of structures through the implementation of hard engineering. Therefore the continued spending on hard engineered structures. ...read more.

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