Compared to hard engineering, soft engineering approaches are less expensive, are more long term, attractive and sustainable as they work with natural processes. Below we explore some of the soft engineering techniques available in managing coastlines.
Beaches are made higher and wider by importing sand and shingle to an area affected by longshore drift.
Cheap, retains the natural appearance of the beach and preserves the natural appearance of the beach.
Off shore dredging of sand and shingle increases erosion in other areas and affects the ecosystem. Large storms will require beach replenishment, increasing costs.
This is when areas of coast are allowed to erode. This is usually in areas where the land is of low value.
Managed retreat retains the natural balance of the coastal system. Eroded material encourages the development of beaches and salt marshes.
People lose their livelihood e.g. farmers. These people will need to be compensated.
Depends on amount of compensation that needs to be paid to people affected by erosion.