The Significance of Seawalls and Their Construction

Most people have never heard of a seawall, but they’ve probably benefitted from them nonetheless. Anyone who has ever walked along the beach or swum in ocean waters understands the stunning power of waves. These massive fronts of water don’t just beat against the sand, they pummel every structure along the coast. The damage from waves can wreak havoc on homes, businesses, parks, and more. A seawall if the first and most important line of defense against shoreline damage. At Midcoast Marine Group, LLC, we specialize in dock and seawall construction, offering outstanding service to civil, commercial, and residential clients. In the following blog, we’ll dig deeper into the significance of seawalls.

Seawalls Simplified

Seawalls are structures that keep ocean waves, water and spray at bay. Climate Tech Wiki provides a clear, specific definition: “seawalls are hard engineered structures with a primary function to prevent further erosion of the shoreline. They are built parallel to the shore and aim to hold or prevent sliding of the soil while providing protection from wave action.” Fundamentally, seawalls keep the land surrounding the ocean in its proper place so that people walking along the coast aren’t endangered and buildings built close to the sea don’t crumble. Climate Tech Wiki adds: “Although their primary function is erosion reduction, [seawalls] have a secondary function as coastal flood defenses.” This means that, in addition to keeping the soil sturdy, seawalls can stop water from flooding during a storm or high tide. In short, seawalls keep the soil where you need it (along the coast, held together solidly) and the water where you want it (in the ocean).


These marine structures offer numerous benefits. These include:

  • The first and foremost priority of seawall construction is safety. As explained above, seawalls are a basic buffer against both erosion and flooding, keeping coastal areas calm. This is particularly important for those who own property or work along the coastline. In many cases, seawalls protect thousands of livelihoods and lifestyles. With recent tsunamis and rising sea levels, seawalls are particularly important today.
  • Especially when expertly planned and constructed by a company like ours, seawalls come in many forms. No matter how the sea meets the shore, we can construct a configuration to protect it. As Innovate Us explains, seawalls come in three basic forms:
    • Vertical, which “were among the first to be implemented” and “are constructed in highly exposed settings.” As their name implies, these are tall structures built along the shore and best for “highly exposed settings.” Innovate Us describes the basic logic of vertical seawalls: “they help in deflecting the wave energy back to the sea, thus saving the coast.”
    • Mound These are appropriate “in situations where wave energy is low and less demanding settings which are least exposed.” These structures are carefully constructed piles of “sandbags, stones, or porous rocks that form concrete armor for the embankment.” Mound seawalls are a simple yet powerful solution for milder regions of the coastline.
    • Curved seawalls arc outward. This design “dissipates incident energy leading to low waves and reduced turbulence” and “prevents the waves from reaching the top of the wall.” These structures allow waves to break within them, releasing their power so they cannot harm the soil. These are the most complex to construct, but with excellent results.

Of course, there is also virtually limitless variation available within these three categories. Midcoast Marine Group, LLC, can assist with any type of seawall that suits your particular segment of shoreline.

  • Seawalls can also improve the appearance of an area. They can be beautifully built and designed in sync with the existing architecture.
  • As anyone who lives, works or owns a business along the ocean knows, the shoreline is prime real estate. In addition to ensuring that the coastline remains intact and this valuable property doesn’t crumble, seawalls “also have a much lower space requirement than other coastal defenses such as dikes, especially if vertical seawall designs are selected,” according to Climate Tech Wiki. This source also cites another benefit: “by reducing space requirements for coastal defense the overall costs of construction may fall,” boosting the seaside economy.
  • Particularly given that their purpose is to be constantly hit by waves, seawalls are quite long lasting. They can last for many years if properly maintained. Midcoast Marine Group, LLC, can help construct and repair seawalls to ensure that they endure.

Ultimately, seawalls improve virtually every facet of life along the coast. We are proud to help coastal communities reap these benefits.

Where Should Seawalls Be?

Generally, we recommend seawalls in coastal areas that:

  • Are prone to particularly powerful waves.
  • Are vulnerable to storms and other weather events.
  • House many businesses whose profits might be impacted by property damage.
  • Are home to residents who could be endangered by unstable soil.
  • Are frequented by tourists, who could, like residents, be harmed if proper precautions are not taken.

The Midcoast Marine Group, LLC team will utilize our extensive expertise to determine if you need a seawall in your area.

Find Out More from Midcoast Marine Group, LLC

Midcoast Marine Group, LLC office is conveniently located in Pinellas County to service the midcoast area including but not limited to, the greaterTampa Bay area, Clearwater, Largo, Hudson, Oldsmar, Dunedin, St Petersburg and much more.

Would you like to learn more about seawalls? Do you suspect that your local community needs one? Contact us today! We’d love to tell you more!