• Seawall – A vertical or near-vertical structure along the coastline to protect against erosion and wave energy. The term is sometimes used to refer to bulkheads.

  • Bulkhead – A retaining wall along the waterfront with the purpose of retaining soils. Sometimes referred to as seawall.
  • Retaining Wall – A wall built to keep the land behind it from eroding or sliding.
  • Sheet Piles – Sections of sheet materials that get driven into the ground connecting to one another with interlocking edges to provide a continuous retaining wall. Typically made of steel, with an increasing popularity of vinyl. May also be made of timber or concrete.
  • Seawall Cap – The top component of a seawall used to tie the system together and provide a smooth finish. Typically constructed of concrete.
  • Cantilever WallA type of seawall construction which derives its stability from the interaction with the soil at its base. Generally, the embedment into the soil must be twice the length of the exposed wall. Usually only used for short walls.
  • Anchored Wall – A type of seawall construction with additional lateral support by using a seawall anchor, such as a deadman, helical anchor, or batter pile. Generally used when the height of the wall exceeds the acceptable height for a cantilever wall.
  • Reveal – The height of the seawall which lies above the water level.
  • Revetment – A stabilized slope lined with stone or concrete placed on a shore to protect the bank from erosion caused by waves or currents.
  • Piles – Long, slender foundation element made of timber, concrete, or steel, which are driven into the earth to provide support for structures, including seawalls, bulkheads, piers, and docks.
  • Batter Pile – A bearing pile placed at an angle to provide lateral support to the seawall.
  • King Pile – The vertical bearing pile used to support other elements of seawalls and other retaining walls.
  • Tie-Backs – A type of anchoring to provide lateral support to a seawall. Examples of tie-back systems include:
  • Deadman – A concrete  block embedded into the ground and connected to a seawall using rods.
  • Helical Anchors – A series of helices attached to a rod, embedded deep into the ground and connected to a seawall.
  • Grouted Anchors – A type of rod embedded into the ground and bonded to the soil with grout (rock, stone and soil mixture).
  • Weep Holes – Holes along the seawall sheets or panels to allow water trapped behind the seawall to drain, relieving additional pressure.

  • Rip-Rap –  Loose stone used to protect  an area from erosion and serve as  an armoring layer from wave and current forces. Typically placed at the bottom of a seawall or used for a revetment.
  • French Drain – A trench dug next to the concrete cap of a sea wall usually lined with a filter fabric and rock to quickly collect and drain water alleviating pressure acting on the wall.
  • Erosion – The washing away of soils.