Beach renourishment: Renourishment is a modern term used for sand replacement on beaches that have lost sand to erosion or storms. Replacement sand comes from offshore dredging near the beaches or is trucked in from inland Florida mines.
Breakwater: A structure protecting a shore area, harbor or basin from waves. It can slow erosion rates landward, but often exacerbates erosion seaward, altering shoreline and water dynamics.
Dunes: A mound, ridge or hill of drifted sand along the coast. They are considered the best defense against beach erosion.
Groin: A shore-protection structure, usually built to trap littoral drift or retard erosion of the shore. Its length may vary from tens to hundreds of meters extending from a point landward of the shoreline out into the water. Groins may be classified as permeable (with openings through them) or impermeable. Groins, like breakwaters, are controversial.
Jetty: A structure built out into the water to restrain or direct currents, usually to protect an inlet or harbor entrance from silting and shoaling, not to protect shorelines from erosion.
Littoral drift: Shores are generally considered fluid and ever-changing because of littoral drift, the sedimentary material moving parallel to the shoreline in the nearshore zone by waves and currents. Littoral currents run parallel to the beach and are usually caused by waves striking the shore at an angle.
Revetments: Structures that cover sloping shores or river banks to absorb the energy of incoming water as a defense against erosion. They can be rocks or concrete, and even wood.
Surge: Storm surge is produced by water being pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds around a storm. The wind trajectory around Hurricane Sandy led to the development of large, long-period northeast swells — estimated to be as high as 20 feet at the Palm Beaches. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas, particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide.