Beaches are generally long and sandy and occur on coastlines. These bodies of water play important recreational and economic roles and are often home to a variety of human communities. Beaches may also feature man-made infrastructure, such as lifeguard posts, showers, shacks, and bars. Some are even developed into housing. However, they are usually found in less developed areas. In some places, you may not find such man-made amenities.
Generally, a beach is a narrow strip of land that consists of loose rocks or other materials eroded by waves and currents. Sand is a common component of beaches, and it comes from the erosion of coral reefs and other rocks. Depending on the local wave and weather conditions, different layers and textures are formed. Generally, sand beaches are steeper and longer than beaches with weak waves. There are many different types of beaches, including the wild, undeveloped beaches found in most countries.
The composition of a beach largely depends on the types of sediments upstream from the coast. Different types of sediments are resistant to erosion in different ways. Their particle size, compaction, and overall density are important factors in shaping the composition of a beach. Compacted sediments are more resistant to erosion. In addition, established vegetation and water features reduce the rate of fluid flow at the surface layer, slowing the process of erosion. In addition to natural habitats, beaches also serve as important sites for fish hatcheries, recreation, and coastal defense.
A sand-enriched beach is more suitable for wildlife than a sandy one. Because sand is not as dense as natural sand, it can harm the ecosystem and kill many animals. Birds may choke on tiny bits of plastic, and marine mammals can become entangled in floating plastic. Moreover, new sand often does not have the same grain size or chemical composition as the natural sand, and it can alter the habitat of beach animals. Similarly, the loss of intertidal prey resources may force shorebirds to migrate to another beach.
Moreover, some species that thrive on a sand-covered beach require freshwater runoff from the land. Therefore, by diverting this freshwater into a drain, we are depriving the plants of a source of water and allowing seawater to penetrate the land, we risk increasing the salinity of the groundwater and causing scouring and temporary groynes. Further, if the material used in a beach nourishment project is too fine or light, it will erode before it has a chance to stabilize. Additionally, foreign sediments may introduce flora to the beach.
The seaside was the epicenter of upper-class frivolity and pleasure during the Victorian era. This trend was further elevated by a new romantic ideal of a picturesque landscape. This ideal was embodied in Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon. Queen Victoria patronized the Isle of Wight and Ramsgate in Kent, bringing fashionable seaside living to the public eye. In addition to the beach, the town of Ilha do Mel also had many well-known hotels and inns, including the popular Beach Bay Cafe.