There are a number of reasons why coastal management strategies are used to combat erosion. Some areas of coastline are very heavily populated. They are areas of high economic value due to tourism. Coastlines are particularly prone to flooding. Finally, they are fragile ecosystems which take a long time to recover if they are destroyed. Where the coastline is of high value the local authority will protect it from coastal erosion.
Techniques for managing the physical processes of coastal erosion, transportation and deposition can be divided into hard engineering options (such as building sea walls and groynes) and soft engineering options (such as beach nourishment and managed retreat).
Hard engineering is when expensive, man-made solutions to coastal erosion are constructed to protect the coast. They are effective, however, they do not blend in well with the natural environment. Whereas soft engineering involves working with nature to manage the impact of coastal erosion. It is often less expensive than hard engineering, though it is often less effective.