The shorelines and beaches in India serve multidimensional needs such as recreational purpose, seaport for maritime commerce, residential and commercial structures, etc. With the growth of population in the coastal zone, more competing pressures are being put on the shores and beaches. Developmental activities along India's coastal areas have increased extensively in recent decades and this trend is expected to continue. Due to this the erosion rate has increased.
Causes of coastal erosion:
a) Global warming
b) Reclamation of land in certain areas, land erosion;
c) Economic activities of construction etc. in the coastal zone areas.
d) Abrasive action along sand and gravel moved by the waves.
e) Destruction of mangroves, which act as a natural safeguard.
f) Flooding of river during monsoon also lead to inundation and causes sea erosion.
g) Worldwide increase in the scale and density of human occupation across shoreline.
Impact of coastal erosion:
a) Removal of small islands.
b) Loss of beach sediments.
c) Destruction of existing habitats of shore flora and fauna.
d) Weakening and destruction of sea walls, revetments, bulkheads and other coastal defences.
e) Loss of agricultural land.
f) Deposition of sediment on productive lands.
g) Damage and destruction of jetties.
h) Damage and destruction of boat-launching facilities, septic tanks, water tanks, and building foundations.
i) Disruption of communications caused by collapse of seafront, bridge, road, and railway foundations.
a) Loss of income for those who are dependent on coastal areas.
b) Reduction of protection against future storms.
c) Creation of unstable cliff slopes.
d) Pollution of beaches caused by broken sewer lines.
e) Silting and invasion of saline water behind breached defences.
f) Flooding of land areas behind breached defences.
g) Scarcity of drinking water
a) Offshore breakwaters to reduce the face of tidal surges before these reach the land.
b) Seawalls to reduce flooding inland; including the initial surges.
c) Construct concrete floodwalls to direct floodwaters away from populated areas.
d) Bulkheads, to-hold landfill in place.
e) Revetments, usually, large- stones, on relatively flat slopes to slowdown flooding.
f) The "Soft" Engineering Approach includes: Sand fills; Sand fences; Beach grasses and Salt marshes.
g) The "passive" or non-structural approaches include using zoning regulations to limit –development.
h) Using building codes to reduce damage from flooding and winds.
i) Afforestation programme with suitable species.
j) In all vulnerable coastal areas the Coastal Zone Management should be effectively introduced.
k) The traditional knowledge of the local people should be tapped and used for sustainable development.