Weather

Soil & Beach Erosion

500 million people live in areas affected by erosion linked to climate change.

Our Take

Drought, sea level rise, and flooding are causing coastal and soil erosion. This puts wildlife and their homes at risk, as well as our homes, jobs, and recreation areas too. Good news is we can stop erosion with some great planning and protection!

Educate Yourself

Quick Facts

80K

80,000 acres is the amount of coastal wetlands lost each year to erosion (that’s 7 football fields per hour per day!)[2]

2000

Over 2000 beach nourishment efforts to improve shoreline stability since 1923[2]

4000

4000 billion tons of carbon stored in healthy soils around the world (that’s more than trees and the atmosphere combined!)[6]

30%

30% of land available for food production globally has been lost over the past 40 years.[7]

$400

$400 billion is the annual cost of soil erosion damage globally.[7]

What is happening?

Erosion is a natural give and take process in the environment. Soils and rocks weather away by rain, wind, freeze and thaw. The action of the ocean takes beach sands from one place and deposits them in another. Sand itself is the result of thousands of years of rocks and mountains wearing away. Although erosion is a natural process, as climate change progresses the natural breakdown is faster than the build up.

What are the effects?

We are seeing soils and ocean fronts disappearing faster than we’re seeing them replaced. We’re experiencing stronger and more frequent intense weather patterns. Think stronger hurricanes, higher winds, tornado touchdowns, intense rainfall, or widespread wildfires. Each of these natural forces wear away at the Earth’s surface and soil.

Hurricanes breakdown coastlines. Strong winds and tornados displace topsoil and take down necessary trees to keep soils in place. Intense rainfall washes soils into rivers and lakes causing the rise of those bodies of water as well as all the pollutants that the water has gathered on land. Wildfires strip away plants that hold dirt in place with their roots. These forms of erosion can impact agriculture, food production, water quality, and create inhabitable landscapes.

While there are many different solutions to combat erosion, some of the best ways are utilizing natural materials and promoting the natural systems that already exist. For instance, instead of creating seawalls or other structures that disrupt the movement of sediment, create living shorelines, renourish beaches, and build oyster reefs that imitate the way nature works. These types of thoughtful pivots allow our beaches to rebuild their own natural systems, protecting coastlines from intense water movement.

How KCI is Slowing the Rise

Act Now to #slowtherise

Myself

Research Volunteers

Help your community prepare for and help stop impending changes coming by collecting information to inform their future decisions.

Learn More

My Family

Plant to Protect!

Make sure there’s no place for rain to take away the soils in your yard! Plantings and erosion prevention is a must around any property!

Learn More

My Community

Sustainable Building

Help your community plan for the future by assessing current conditions and locating where things could potentially get worse.

Learn More

How You Can Help

Get involved in Citizen Science programs to help communities prepare or mitigate change, they need help tracking change over time to make informed decisions! Citizen science is when community members volunteer for local or regional research projects and collect data on various natural phenomenons over time to help scientists and researchers. Search your local area for citizen science opportunities in beach profiling, landslide observation, and other natural disaster impacts on erosion and landscape.

How To Become A Citizen Scientist

Youth And Education In Science

How Your Family Can Help

Our landscape is a patchwork of property divisions, how can your property play a part? Take a look around your household and property to see where dirt runs away during heavy rainfall! Where can your family use native plantings, or trees to hold sediment in place? This will help keep nearby waterways clear, your land from eroding, and promote healthy topsoil. Plus, adding plants and trees helps take a little more carbon out of the air too!

Reducing Soil Erosion: Using Plants For Erosion Control

How Your Community Can Help

By talking with community planners, towns and cities can evaluate possible erosion threats to their local infrastructure, agriculture, and future construction zones. It’s important to balance the construction of new places with the management of green spaces and buffers that can strengthen community land against erosion.

Mitigating Shore Erosion Along Sheltered Coasts

Take it Further

Educate Us

Are you or your organization doing something to slow the rise of this cause that TCI should know about or feature? Let us know!

Connect With Us