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Breakwater (structure)

Structure constructed on coasts as part of coastal management or to protect an anchorage / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A breakwater is a permanent structure constructed at a coastal area to protect against tides, currents, waves, and storm surges. Part of a coastal management system, breakwaters are installed to minimize erosion, and to protect anchorages, helping isolate vessels within them from marine hazards such as prop washes and wind-driven waves. A breakwater, also known in some contexts as a jetty, may be connected to land or freestanding, and may contain a walkway or road for vehicle access.

The Alamitos Bay, California, entrance channel. Breakwaters create safer harbours, but can also trap sediment moving along the coast.
Breakwater under construction in Ystad, Sweden (2019)
A breakwater in Haukilahti, Espoo, Finland

On beaches where longshore drift threatens the erosion of beach material, smaller structures on the beach, usually perpendicular to the water's edge, may be installed. Their action on waves and current is intended to slow the longshore drift and discourage mobilisation of beach material. In this usage they are more usually referred to as groynes.