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For many decades the approach to rapid coastal erosion was to build up sea defenses, to try and slow down or even stop the erosion. Initially the attempts were thought a success, however after some years it was realized that the power of the sea and waves could overcome any human attempts to control the power of the sea. Only could protection be a success if huge costs were going to be involved. Many methods along the coast of North Carolina have taken place in the last 50 years with many failures occurring. It is very rare to find a coastline that shows a decrease in the rate of erosion over many years after defenses are in place. In fact in places the defenses seem to have sped up the erosion process. Coastal erosion is a natural process of erosion; transportation and deposition, interfering with this balance could be to blame for the rise in erosion on the coasts of some areas. Groynes have been built out to sea in many areas of the British coastline. Their aim is to trap material and thus slow down the rate of longshore drift. However, these groynes in some areas are been blamed for the rise in erosion rates further down the coast.

In various places in North Carolina , erosion is taking place at a rate of about 2 meters per year

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