Shore Protection Structures

Guides to Building Shore Protection Structures

Here are some older guides listed below about designing and building shore protection structures on the Great Lakes and other coastal shores. They include:

  • Help Yourself. General Information Pamphlet. A discussion of erosion problems on the Great Lakes and alternative methods of shore protection. June 1973. Revised 1978 and 1986. This pamphlet published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, contained helpful tables for sizing shore protection structures based on maximum estimated water depths 50 feet offshore of the structure. This 25-page pamphlet is out of print and out of date.
  • How to Protect Your Shore Property. March 1986. This 63-page booklet published by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources was similar to the Help Yourself pamphlet, but without the tables for sizing shore protection structures.
  • Shore Protection Manual. 1984. This two-volume engineering manual published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers served for many years as a basic reference and design manual for shore protection. It is out of date and has been replaced by the Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM).
  • Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM). The CEM was produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory. The CEM is being published as an electronic, interactive engineering manual to be available only on CDs. The CEM is intended to replace the outdated Shore Protection Manual. Versions 2.01PE and 2.01SE are now available (2005). The CDs can be ordered from: Veri-Tech, Inc., P.O. Box 820109, Vicksburg, MS 39182-0109.


New Advice on Shore Protection for Great Lakes Property Owners:

Living on the Coast: Protecting Investments in Shore Property on the Great Lakes.
The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute led the writing and publishing of a new, 50 page booklet to replace the out-of-date Help Yourself pamphlet, with funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Detroit District). The project began in 2000 and a final version was published and distributed in fall, 2003. There are 24 contributing writers from Canada and the U.S.

The new booklet has this principal message: Given the natural coastal processes at work along the shores of the Great Lakes, do everything possible to avoid placing buildings and other structures where flooding, storm waves and erosion are likely to shorten their useful lives. Do everything possible to avoid reliance on traditional, constructed shore protection structures.