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Shoreline erosion occurs naturally over time as a result of wind, precipitation, wave action, and gravity. However, human activities such as wakeboarding and shoreline construction can increase erosion, which has damaging effects on wildlife, water quality, architecture, and recreation.
Wakes from motorized vessels accelerate erosion by exposing or uprooting vegetation and causing banks to collapse. Wake impact also causes increased sedimentation, which degrades the aquatic environment.
A wave that is 5 in. high or less (produced under 6mph) does not cause substantial shoreline damage. Therefore, it is recommended that boats always reduce speeds when operating near shorelines (5 mph within 100 ft of shore).
Shoreline erosion caused by flooding from Hurricane Irene in 2011
Same formerly eroded area treated with cocoa mats and logs