Washington and other coastal states seek to limit seawall construction

Protective structures such as seawalls and bulkheads can help save properties from erosion. But such structures, known collectively as shoreline armoring, can block the natural flow of sand and sediment down the coast and multiply the force of waves onto nearby shoreline — accelerating erosion elsewhere.

“Building seawalls just pushes the problem to someone else,” said California state Sen. Ben Allen, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

Seawalls are expensive to build and maintain. And if they’re allowed to degrade, they can wash into the water and hurt habitats. Environmental experts say many communities that build seawalls aren’t prepared to deal with the ongoing cost or damage

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