Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


It is the purpose of this paper to investigate the techniques and designs for beach protection today, and to show that efforts are largely motivated by the economic value involved. The primary cause of beach erosion will be addressed through a discussion of coastal processes. The construction and purposes of the common engineering structures will be explored along with examples of the materials presently being used. The east-coast beaches of Florida with their traditional recreational lure will provide good examples of large-scale efforts to protect high-cost waterfront investments. Rhode Island shoreline varies considerably along its length and is also chiefly privately owned. Contemporary projects in Rhode Island provide examples of sometimes shortsighted, and always costly endeavors in both the public and especially the private sectors.