Why shouldn't pebbles be collected from beaches? Why shouldn't pebbles be collected from beaches?

Why shouldn't pebbles be collected from beaches?

Why shouldn't pebbles be collected from beaches?
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Visiting the beach brings back joyful childhood memories for many, especially saving and taking home various shaped pebbles.

But removing too much gravel or other sediment makes the beach less able to act as a natural barrier to flooding and erosion.

Experts explained that the beach adapts to changes in waves throughout the seasons, and pebbles are transported frequently by waves, which leads to different sizes of sediment being sorted into different areas of the beach.

More active waves during winter storms can transport larger sediments to the beach, forming a steep series of pebbles known as the “sandbar,” which is often found at the top of the beach. It is the first form of natural defense against storms, as it absorbs and dissipates wave energy and reduces the risk of... Moving beyond the beach.

The cumulative effect of gravel removal disrupts natural sorting processes and disrupts the overall dynamic balance on the beach.

There is ongoing research to better understand how pebbly beaches respond to waves and storms. 

In a changing climate, where storm risks are expected to be more intense and frequent, there is an urgent need to retain sediment on beaches and allow for natural coastal protection.

The report was prepared by Joseph Earle and Susanna Ilitch, from the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University.

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