Abstract

Pietrafesa, L.J., 2012. On the continued cost of upkeep related to groins and jetties.

So-called terminal groins, which are actually jetties at the terminus of barrier islands where inlets are located, have been the subject of controversy for half a century in North Carolina. Coastal scientists have opposed these hardened structures and point to their destructive effects upon downstream beaches, requiring ever increasing and costly beach renourishment projects. Meanwhile, some coastal engineers have claimed that they can be used to “stabilize” migrating inlets. Local politicians, in response to real estate interests, have argued for the construction of the hardened structures and, in contrast to the claims of the scientists on the ground, have cited examples of success in North Carolina and at other locales on the U.S. eastern seaboard. So what are the facts? This Editorial presents the documented facts for North Carolina and the other U.S. east coast locales.

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