Beach Prisms: Protecting the Shoreline, Preserving the Environment
The unrelenting effects of wave action, wind and storms have caused coastal erosion from the beginning of time. It’s a natural occurrence. But as coastal areas have grown more populated, preserving the shoreline from erosion has become an important environmental issue.
Smith-Midland developed precast concrete Beach Prisms more than 35 years ago to address the problem. Since then, our coastal erosion protection products have become the go-to solution for cost-effective shoreline erosion along the Chesapeake Bay, its tributary rivers, and most recently, on the New Jersey shore and Great Lakes. This natural solution has delayed, halted or completely reversed shoreline erosion to preserve beaches and protect shoreline property.
Proven Beach Erosion Solutions
The simple, elegant design behind Beach Prisms makes this an outstanding option when it comes to coastal erosion protection. The open, slotted design allows water to flow through the precast concrete structures, which dissipates wave energy. This enables the sand carried by the waves to accumulate, reducing impact to the shoreline. Ultimately, sand is replenished both in front and behind these shoreline erosion structures. Beach Prisms are especially helpful in protecting river and bayfront properties.
Considered a “soft approach” to erosion control, the Beach Prism design allows for natural movement of water, making it ideal for plant and animal life to thrive. Other coastal erosion prevention applications, such as stone breakwaters and seawalls, are more disruptive to the existing shoreline and the organisms that inhabit it. Bottom line, beach erosion structures give Mother Nature a chance to regrow vegetation and regenerate a living shoreline complex.
Photos at Ingram Bay dramatically show how the living shoreline can be reclaimed with Beach Prisms. Because erosion can result from many factors such as tides, prevailing winds and the amount of sand carried by the waves, we look at each project individually to determine the optimal design for cost-effective, long-term protection.
Take Control of Shoreline Erosion
With decades of documented shoreline erosion protection, our Beach Prisms are proven successes, but it is important to know that permits are required prior to installation. Permits are issued by state and federal agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers. Contact your local DNR to learn about the permitting process.
“These things worked like they said they would.”Bob White
Ingram Bay property owner