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In civil engineering of shorelines, hard engineering is generally defined as controlled disruption of natural processes by using man-made structures.
Hard engineering can cause unintended environmental consequences, such as new erosion and altered sedimentation - sand deposition patterns, that are detrimental to the immediate human and natural environment or along down-coast locations and habitats. Examples of hard engineering are groins - a wooden wall to prevent longshore drift - and sea walls that deflect waves.
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