Shoreline Contractors, Inc

Beach Building


A soft, sandy beach is one of the most desirable water features for public areas and individual homeowners alike.†† Beaches provide safe access to the water, an extended area for recreation such as swimming and jet skiing, are one of the most peaceful settings on the planet and provide excellent erosion control

Over the years, we have studied conditions and methods to build beach where none exists and to retain beaches which come and go. Beach building is possible if:


 The depth of the water at the shoreline is shallow (less than a few feet);

 The offshore slope is gentle, usually less than 1 vertical to 11 horizontal (this is the natural angle of repose of a beach);

 There is sand in the nearshore area (from the shoreline out to a depth of about 12 feet);

 There is an absence of vertical structures updrift of the property. Shale of limestone bluffs and seawalls will drive the sand offshore, reducing that which is available for beach building

Our firm can analyze your property and make recommendations to assist designing a system to meet your needs

The Principle of the Transport Velocity of Water


If the four conditions listed above are met or can be created, it is possible to build a beach. The process of beach building depends on one fundamental principle† - the transport velocity of water. Simply stated, the faster the water moves, the more material and larger particles it can carry. Conversely, the slower that water moves, the more material and smaller particles it will deposit.


Thus, the key element is to slow down the incoming water so that it can deposit the sand being carried in the nearshore area. The most useful material for this task is large rock, because of its absorption characteristics.


Structures designed to build beach (as well as to control erosion) include groins (a rock jetty oriented perpendicular to the shoreline), offshore breakwaters, Lís or Tís (combinations of an offshore breakwater and a groin). Placement locations, spacing, height, and other engineering considerations are site specific. Our firm can analyze your property and make recommendations† to assist in designing a system to meet your needs.