Title:
Shoreline and Coastal Protection and Rebuilding Apparatus and Method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Shoreline and Coastal Protection and Rebuilding Apparatus and Method having a plurality of slanted wall sections in a rising stepped formation with open areas between, arrayed on frame structures, which dissipates wave energy in a gradual and controlled way and which neutralizes the impact of a wave and its backwash, thereby protecting the shoreline, and which allows for the settling of sediment, thereby rebuilding the shoreline, while allowing tidal exchange of water and the migration of aquatic species, using modular components that can be manufactured and deployed at low cost and in a manner suited to remote shoreline deployment.



Inventors:
Liner, Vincent Paul (Chauvin, LA, US)
Application Number:
12/191177
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
08/13/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02B3/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SINGH, SUNIL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark Edw. Andrews (New Orleans, LA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding to be deployed along a shoreline, the shoreline having a landward and a waterward side and a ground level, the apparatus comprising: more than one frame structure, said frame structure having a cross-line dimension substantially perpendicular to said shoreline; more than one wall section arranged upon said frame structures, said wall section having a face, said wall section face having an in-line dimension substantially parallel to said shoreline, a cross-line dimension substantially perpendicular to said shoreline, a lower edge along the in-line dimension, and an upper edge along the in-line dimension and separated from said lower edge by said cross-line dimension; and open space between said wall sections arranged on said frame structures; wherein a first wall section is arranged upon said frame structures with said lower edge substantially in contact with the ground at the shoreline and with said upper edge higher off the ground and farther landward than said lower edge, causing said face of said wall section to slant upward and landward, the subsequent wall sections being arranged upon said frame structure farther landward and higher off the ground than an immediately preceding wall section, causing said apparatus to extend upward and landward, with said open space between said wall sections, and with said lower edge of an immediately subsequent wall section being closer to ground level than the upper edge of an immediately preceding wall section.

2. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein the profile of said wall section face is selected from the group consisting essentially of flat, angled, curved, reverse-facing, and double-facing.

3. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said frame structures are securely attached to the ground by pilings.

4. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said frame structures are securely attached to the ground by cleats.

5. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said apparatus is stabilized against wave action by at least one shift plate.

6. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, further comprising at least one water control wall.

7. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, further comprising at least one seal plate.

8. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said slant of said wall sections is in the approximate range of twenty to sixty degrees.

9. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said slant of said wall sections is in the range of twenty-five to forty-five degrees.

10. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said slant of said wall sections is thirty degrees.

11. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said wall sections are arranged with said upper edge of said first wall section below the low-tide water level and the upper edge of a third said subsequent wall section below the high-tide water level.

12. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said apparatus is buoyant.

13. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, further comprising unit wall sections of said wall sections arranged together.

14. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, wherein said apparatus is deployed in a substantially opposite-facing orientation.

15. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, further comprising migration wall sections of said wall sections having openings for the migration of aquatic species.

16. The apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding of claim 1, further comprising a universal frame structure.

17. An apparatus for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding to be deployed along a shoreline, the shoreline having a landward and a waterward side and a ground level, the apparatus comprising: more than one frame structure means, said frame structure means having a cross-line dimension substantially perpendicular to said shoreline; more than one wall section means arranged upon said frame structures, said wall section means having a face, said wall section means face having an in-line dimension substantially parallel to said shoreline, a cross-line dimension substantially perpendicular to said shoreline, a lower edge along the in-line dimension, and an upper edge along the in-line dimension and separated from said lower edge by said cross-line dimension; and open space between said wall sections means arranged on said frame structures means; wherein a first wall section means is arranged upon said frame structures with said lower edge substantially in contact with the ground at the shoreline and with said upper edge higher off the ground and farther landward than said lower edge, causing said face of said wall section means to slant upward and landward, the subsequent wall sections means being arranged upon said frame structure farther landward and higher off the ground than an immediately preceding wall section means, causing said apparatus to extend upward and landward, with said open space between said wall sections means, and with said lower edge of an immediately subsequent wall section means being closer to ground level than the upper edge of an immediately preceding wall section means.

18. A method for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding to be deployed along a shoreline, the shoreline having a landward and a waterward side and a ground level, the method comprising: providing more than one frame structure, said frame structure having a cross-line dimension substantially perpendicular to said shoreline; providing more than one wall section arranged upon said frame structures, said wall section having a face, said wall section face having an in-line dimension substantially parallel to said shoreline, a cross-line dimension substantially perpendicular to said shoreline, a lower edge along the in-line dimension, and an upper edge along the in-line dimension and separated from said lower edge by said cross-line dimension; and providing open space between said wall sections arranged on said frame structures; wherein a first wall section is arranged upon said frame structures with said lower edge substantially in contact with the ground at the shoreline and with said upper edge higher off the ground and farther landward than said lower edge, causing said face of said wall section to slant upward and landward, the subsequent wall sections being arranged upon said frame structure farther landward and higher off the ground than an immediately preceding wall section, causing said apparatus to extend upward and landward, with said open space between said wall sections, and with said lower edge of an immediately subsequent wall section being closer to ground level than the upper edge of an immediately preceding wall section.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein said wall sections arranged on said frame structures with said open spaces dissipate the force of incoming waves by segregating portions of the wave's force and redirecting said portions of the wave's force to dissipate said wave's force.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein modular units of said wall sections arranged on said frame structures with said open spaces are made buoyant.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Priority is claimed from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/964,851 filed 14 Aug. 2007, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application number 61/065,354 filed 11 Feb. 2008, which are both hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

The shorelines of oceans, lakes, bayous, and rivers are important ecosystems which are subject to erosion by their respective bodies of water. The waves of water which cause the erosion result from natural causes and maritime activity.

A wave, such as an ocean wave or the wake of a vessel, is a mechanical wave caused by the perturbation of water. As a wave approaches shallow water, such as a shoreline, the change in water depth causes the wave to pile up on itself and rise, possibly to the point of breaking. The rising and breaking of waves at the shoreline creates turbulence and erosion. Waves create a backwash, which can carry eroded sediment farther into the water.

Simply stopping a wave by placing a wall in its path presents several problems. Such a wall must be sufficiently strong to withstand the full wave impact. The wall does not prevent the erosion of the sloping submerged land on the water side of the wall, and the backwash of a wave abruptly stopped is additionally erosive. A solid wall might also interrupt the tidal exchange of water and the migration of aquatic species that are important in shoreline ecosystems. Improperly designed gaps in such a wall might reduce the effectiveness of the wall or create channels of pronounced erosion.

Erosion is a serious problem, especially in coastal Louisiana, which is literally washing away into the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal Louisiana has seen over 900,000 acres wash away since the 1930s. Currently the loss rate is about 16,000 acres per year. It is estimated an additional 320,000-acres of Louisiana's wetlands will be lost by the year 2050 at the present rate. The economic impact of the loss of coastal wetlands is very large. Louisiana's coastal wetlands are at the end of the Central and Mississippi Flyways and provide winter refuge for nearly 70 percent of all waterfowl migrating these flyways.

Attempts to slow the rate of coastal erosion have been made throughout coastal Louisiana using various methods, including low-cost attempts such as the placement of objects such as discarded Christmas trees, automobile tires, various types of large plastic bags filled with sand, mats of materials ranging from willow tree limbs to concrete, and various types of plants. None of these methods has been shown to stop erosion, and in some cases these methods may have increased the rate of erosion. Most cannot withstand the daily wave action in the coastal environment or the force of a storm surge. Others cause water pollution and present navigational hazards. Various types of walls made from concrete, steel, or wood have been placed away from the shoreline in an attempt to stop wave action and protect the shoreline, with limited success and sometimes causing unintended environmental consequences.

Tidal exchange of water is an element of shoreline ecosystems that is disrupted by some methods of preventing erosion. The migration of aquatic species is similarly disrupted by these methods.

A high cost of deployment is characteristic of many existing erosion-prevention methods, especially given that the shoreline is a tough environment for construction or installation activities and is often very remote from roads or navigable water. In some cases, dredging of the water bottom is required in order to accommodate the work vessels necessary to install the shoreline protection, adding to the cost of deployment and further destroying the shoreline in an attempt to save it.

Other problems with present devices and methods are their inability to remain in place, either from sinking in the soft soil or being moved by winds and storm surges, their tendency to sink and damage pipelines, and the navigational hazards they present.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present invention is a Shoreline and Coastal Protection and Rebuilding Apparatus and Method having a plurality of slanted wall sections in a rising stepped formation with open areas between, arrayed on frame structures, which dissipates wave energy in a gradual and controlled way and which neutralizes the impact of a wave and its backwash, thereby protecting the shoreline, and which allows for the settling of sediment, thereby rebuilding the shoreline, while allowing tidal exchange of water and the migration of aquatic species, using modular components that can be manufactured and deployed at low cost and in a manner suited to remote shoreline deployment.

This invention reduces coastal erosion caused by wave action by transforming destructive wave energy, deflects wave energy gradually in order to dissipate its energy while reducing scour, encourages new sedimentation by allowing sediment time to settle before the discharge of water, provides a barrier to guard against the seaward migration of sediment and/or sand, is environmentally neutral by allowing tidal exchange and the migration of aquatic species, minimizes scour from wave action, protects vegetation from the effects of wave action, utilizes wake action from vessels to collect sediment caused by such wake action, accommodates the planting of new vegetation, transforms sediment into an economical retaining wall, is removable and reusable, is simple and inexpensive to manufacture and deploy, can be made buoyant to regulate sinking into soft soil, can be manufactured from a variety of materials, can be manufactured in sizes and configurations appropriate to any given conditions, and can be adjusted in elevation or slope if necessary.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of various components of various embodiments of the invention, shown in more detail in other figures.

FIG. 2 shows a side view of a modular unit of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a modular unit of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a unit wall section of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of two modular units and a panel section of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a unit wall section of an embodiment of the invention secured by optional screw pilings.

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of three modular units of an embodiment of the invention, showing a side-by-side relationship at one point of joining, and a gap, space, and/or offset relationship at the other point of joining.

FIG. 8 shows a plan view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 shows a side view of a modular unit of an embodiment of the invention, showing optional seal plates and cleats.

FIG. 10 shows a side view of a module of an embodiment of the invention, showing an optional angled back section and optional vertical, angled, and curved additional walls and shift plates and water control walls, and optional screw piling and I-beam-type piling.

FIG. 11 shows a perspective view of two modular units of an embodiment of the invention in a back-to-back relationship forming two seaward faces.

FIG. 12 shows a side view of two modular units of an embodiment of the invention in a back-to-back relationship, further showing the optional extension of a lowest wall section, and optional shift plates and vertical, angled, and curved additional walls, and screw pilings and I-beam-type pilings.

FIG. 13 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention showing a floating double unit with modular units in a back-to-back relationship connected by frame structure sections having hollow chambers.

FIG. 14 shows a side view of an embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG. 13, further showing the optional extension of a lowest wall section, and optional shift plates and vertical, angled, and curved additional walls, and screw pilings and I-beam-type pilings.

FIG. 15 shows a side view of an embodiment of the invention showing frame structure sections extending beyond the profile of the wall sections, providing cross-current stabilization and preventing the parallel spread of waves.

FIG. 16 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention showing frame structure sections extending beyond the profile of the wall sections and having openings in the extended portions, providing partial cross-current stabilization and allowing partial parallel spread of waves.

FIG. 17 shows a perspective view of migration wall segments of an embodiment of the invention showing openings allowing the movement of aquatic species.

FIG. 18 shows a side view of an embodiment of the invention showing the optimal placement of the migration wall segments of FIG. 17.

FIG. 19 shows a side view of an embodiment of the invention showing two different modular units placed in a back-to-back relationship.

FIG. 20 shows a side view of an embodiment of the invention showing two different modular units placed in a back-to-back relationship with an additional frame structure section connecting the two modules, forming a double unit.

FIG. 21 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention showing a universal frame structure segment having an optional spear head, anchoring clip, and/or accommodation for screw piling or other piling.

FIG. 22 shows a perspective view of a unit wall section of an embodiment of the invention showing a plurality of wall sections connected or molded as a single unit.

FIG. 23 shows a perspective view of a unit wall section of an embodiment of the invention showing a plurality of wall sections connected or molded as a single unit.

FIG. 24 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 25 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 26 shows a side view of an embodiment of the invention showing a variety of wall section types.

FIG. 27 shows a side view of an embodiment of the invention showing a variety of wall section types.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

This invention is an apparatus and method for shoreline and coastal protection and rebuilding. The invention protects a shoreline with a plurality of wall sections arranged on frame structures on a slant and with open spaces between, creating modular units that may be connected and deployed along a shoreline.

Referring to FIG. 1, the apparatus comprises a plurality of wall sections 102 which may be made in a variety of shapes 302, 402, 404, 406 according to manufacturing and deployment considerations and any special wave-handling considerations for a given site. The wall sections are held in proper relationship to one another and to the shoreline by being arranged on frame structures 80, which may be optionally securely attached to the ground at the shoreline by the use of screw pilings 94, I-beam pilings 96, or other methods. Cleats 508 or double-cleats 510 may optionally be used to reduce movement of the apparatus. The frame structures 80 may optionally be provided with slots or holes such as T-slots 98 to accommodate the attachment of frame structures to each other or anchoring to the ground by pilings, or a combination of attachment and anchoring. Optionally, additional components may be added underneath the wall sections to enhance the stability of the module and/or to further modify wave action and backwash, such as a seal plate 502, shift plate 512, or water control wall 516, 518.

Each wall section may be initially thought of as a plank or a slat, although the wall sections can be of a more complex shape and can be made of a variety of materials, as will be shown. Using the plank analogy, such a wall section plank is mounted to more than one frame structure so that the wall section's longest dimension is oriented generally parallel to the shoreline and the lower edge is in contact with the ground. The frame structure holds the wall section at an angle or slant, with the lower edge being toward the water and the higher edge being toward the land, and with the slant oriented in the same direction as the slope of the land down into the body of water, and where a wave will touch the lower edge first and then travel at an upward slant across the face of the wall section toward the higher edge.

At the higher edge of the wall section is an open space, allowing water traveling up and over the wall section to plunge back down toward ground level. A second wall section is mounted at a slant on the landward side of the first wall section, leaving the open space between, and with the lower edge of the second wall section being lower than the higher edge of the first wall section. More wall sections may be added, always leaving an open space between and always with the lower edge of a given wall section being lower than the higher edge of the preceding wall section.

Referring to FIG. 2, an embodiment of the invention is shown where waves would be travelling from the observer's right to left. Arranged on a frame structure 80 are five wall sections 102, 104, 106, 108, 110 with such wall sections being arranged so that the entire unit rises up and away from the body of water and the individual wall sections slant up and away from the body of water, with open spaces 120 between, and with the lowest wall section's lower edge 122 at or below ground level, and with the lower edges of each succeeding wall section 126, 130, 134, 138 being lower than the higher edges of the preceding wall section 124, 128, 132, 136.

A perspective view of one unit of substantially the same embodiment is shown as FIG. 3, where the nature of the open spaces 120 is better seen. The invention is meant to typically be used as a series of connected units deployed along a shoreline, with the long dimension of the wall sections being informed by considerations of weight, strength, manufacturing, transportation, and deployment. Optionally, the frame structure 80 may accommodate a second set of wall sections continuing in line with the first set by providing mounting spaces 142, thereby sharing the frame structure between two modules.

Tests on functioning models and prototypes of the invention show that the exact angle of the slant of the wall sections is not critical. Placing the wall sections in a vertical or near-vertical position would cause waves to reflect rather than be gradually dissipated and is not desirable. Placing the wall sections in a horizontal or near-horizontal orientation would reduce the effectiveness of the invention and is not desirable. Reversing the slant with a rise toward the water side intensifies the scouring action of the waves by forcing them downward and is only desirable in special situations. A slant of thirty degrees rising toward the landward has proven in tests to be an effective angle, although a wide range of slanted angles are also effective.

The overall size of various embodiments of the invention is dependent on the nature of the shoreline being protected, the tidal range, and the type of waves reaching the shore. The banks of a small river or bayou could be protected with a smaller and lighter apparatus than would be required on a seashore.

In a preferred embodiment, referring again to FIG. 2, the five wall sections are arrayed such that the higher edge of any wall section is substantially level with the lower edge of the wall section two above above it. For example, the higher edge 124 of the first wall section 102 is level with the lower edge 130 of the third wall section, and so on. When installed on a shoreline, the top edge 124 of the first wall section 102 is located slightly below the low tide water level, so that the first wall section is always submerged. The upper edge 132 of the third wall section 106 is located slightly below the high tide water level. The size of a given system can therefore be calculated from a knowledge of the tidal range, combined with other factors such as terrain and wave force. Where the calculated size of each wall section would be too large to economically manufacture, transport, and deploy, or where such a large wall section would be susceptible to structural failure, the total number of wall sections should be increased so that each wall section may be made smaller. For example, seven wall sections could be used, with the higher edge of the first slightly below low tide level and the higher edge of the fourth slightly below high tide level.

The longest dimension of the wall sections, corresponding to the distance between frame structures, are dependent on the materials and construction techniques used, weight and handling considerations of transportation and deployment, and the forces to which the apparatus will be subject.

The components of the invention can be built out of a variety of materials, with cement, concrete, reinforced concrete, wood, fiberglass, vinyl, steel, and plastic being among the choices. The apparatus can be constructed in such a way as to be of a determined buoyancy in order to control sinking into soft ground or to function as a floating breakwater. Construction from buoyant materials or the inclusion of buoyant chambers are methods of causing buoyancy.

Although a flat-surfaced wall section is effective and is used in this explanation of the principles of this invention, wall sections having other profiles are also contemplated, such as curved or angled wall sections, which might, for example be stronger or more easily manufactured from a given material, and also might provide a variation of the basic operation of the apparatus appropriate for a given shoreline site, such as, for example, a site where only protection and no rebuilding by sedimentation is desired.

In operation, and with reference to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, a wave approaches the first wall section 102, which is optimally submerged and which presents a false effective bottom which causes the top of the wave to travel faster than the bottom and starts the wave to break early, but before the wave can completely break it passes the first open area 120 and a portion of the wave drops down toward the true bottom while another portion of the wave passes up and over the second wall section 104 where it then passes over a second open area 120 in a repeating pattern. The impact of the wave is absorbed and dissipated gradually by forcing it to overcome a number of wall sections while portions of the wave are dropped through the open spaces. The wave water and force dropping through the first open space creates a new wave in the water already standing under the apparatus. This new wave cannot radiate very far back toward the body of water because it is blocked by the first wall section, and therefore travels mostly landward. The energy of this new wave has now been segregated from that of the original wave. As this new wave travels landward, another portion of water and force drops down from the second open space, and radiates toward both the water and the land, complicating and dissipating the force of the new wave. The process repeats with water and force dropping from the third and subsequent open spaces. With each iteration, an increasing portion of the original wave has been transferred to the new wave, but in such a way that each portion of the original wave's energy is transferred to the new wave as a dissipating, not regenerating force.

Eventually all of the water of the original wave becomes part of the new wave, but with substantially all of the force dissipated. Any water and force from the original wave that overcomes all of the wall sections and tops the apparatus drops onto the already-still water of the new wave, and is dissipated substantially radially. There is no rejoining or regeneration of the force of the original wave, since the segregated portions of the wave are used as dissipating forces.

The water of the original wave, after being stilled by the invention, can be allowed to flow back as backwash into the body of water whence it came or can be directed through channels or pipes for other purposes. The initial force of the backwash is only the force of gravity on the water, since the invention does not reflect any of the original wave's force, but deflects and dissipates such force. Water returning through the open spaces of the invention is redirected by having to pass under at least one lower edge of a wall section and then rising through an open space and over the upper edge of an adjacent wall section. Water passing through the higher open spaces will run down the face of a wall section and drop through the next lower open space and hit another portion of the backwash water, complicating and dissipating the force of the backwash. The backwash will build up or stack briefly behind the wall sections.

Because the movement of the water of the original wave and of its backwash is slowed down, sediment or sand particles in the water tend to settle beneath and around the apparatus, rebuilding the shoreline. In situations where such rebuilding is not desirable, such as a navigation channel, the apparatus can be configured to avoid slowing the water to the point of settling or to channel the water to a location where rebuilding is desired, or to give the sediment-laden water a path to stream back into the body of water. Alternatively, sediment building up where it is not desired could be regularly removed and placed elsewhere.

Because the backwash of a wave returning to the body of water is dissipated and reduced in force, the submerged ground on the water-side of the invention is subject to less scouring than would be seen in front of a reflective seawall.

The settling of sediment or sand particles is also promoted by the operation of friction and gravity on particles traveling up and over the wall sections, with the particles falling downward through the open spaces after their forward movement is arrested.

Depending upon the conditions at a given deployment location, the component wall sections and frame structures and other components may be pre-assembled into modular units to be deployed side-by-side, or the components may be assembled on-site or near the site of deployment. Conditions may also allow for fabrication of the components on-site or near the site of deployment.

Several varied embodiments of the invention are disclosed below, with such embodiments having features beneficial under varied shoreline conditions or offering economies of construction and/or deployment. Additional embodiments or variations of the principles of this invention are possible.

Referring again to FIG. 2, the modular unit 42 of the embodiment of the invention, having the frame structure 80, wall sections 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, and open spaces 120 as previously disclosed, further provides connection/support holes 92 so that modular units my be attached to each other or to other structures, and T-slots 98 so that an I-beam or similar piece can be used as piling to hold the unit in place and/or as a fastener between units.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of a modular unit 44, showing the wall sections supported by two frame structures 80, 82. Each frame structure may also support the wall sections of the next modular unit by using the area provided 142. In circumstances where the components are being assembled at the deployment site, the sharing of frame structures serves as a means of connecting modular units.

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of a modular unit with the wall sections molded or fastened together in the proper relationship with open spaces between, by using connecting wall sections 160, thereby forming a unit wall section 70. Anchoring holes 162 are provided. In some circumstances, the connecting wall sections 160 may function as a sufficient frame structure and the unit wall section may be deployed directly on a shoreline or the landward portion may be elevated on pilings or posts.

FIG. 5 illustrates the use of a unit wall section 70 between two modular units 44 and sharing the frame structures on either side, providing a conservation of materials and an ease of deployment. The panel wall section 70 may be fabricated in a curved or angled shape to allow for changes in direction along a shoreline.

FIG. 6 illustrates the deployment of a unit wall section 70 using screw pilings. Such an embodiment allows easy placement, adjustment, repair, removal, and redeployment of the invention, and is suited for canals, waterways, rivers, bayous, drainage ditches, highway revetments, outfall canals, and lakes.

FIG. 7 illustrates three modular units 42, 44 of the invention arranged as would be deployed along a shoreline.

FIG. 8 illustrates three modular units of the invention arranged as would be deployed along a shoreline, including a unit wall section 70.

FIG. 9 illustrates the use of seal plates 502, 504, 506, to seal or partially seal open spaces between wall sections. Seal plates may be solid or perforated to varying degrees and are used where the operation of the invention or a particular segment of the invention is to be modified. This modification and the use of seal plates may be part of the initial design of an installation, or may be a retrofit for changing circumstances. Also illustrated are a cleat 508 and a double-cleat 510 providing a larger footprint and support against shifting or movement in soft soils.

FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of a module unit 45 having an angled landward section providing additional footprint and stability. Screw piling 94 and I-beam type piling 96 secures the unit, with the stronger I-beam piling securing the waterward end and the screw piling securing the landward end allowing for adjustment and readjustment of the elevation and angle of the unit. Shift and flow walls 512 extend into the ground to provide added stability and to restrict the flow of the new wave and the backwash. Additional water control walls 514, 516, 518 provide additional restriction or redirection of the new wave and the backwash.

Referring to FIG. 11 and FIG. 12, in areas where waves or wakes approach from more than one general direction, modular units may be deployed back-to-back. This arrangement can be used to create or to improve a jetty, and is particularly appropriate for use in navigational channels.

FIG. 13 and FIG. 14 illustrate an embodiment having modular units oriented back-to-back with additional frame structures 88, 90 arranged between the units, forming a double unit 62. Optional T-slots 98 accommodate piling for stabilization. The additional frame structures can be made buoyant, creating a floating double unit which may be deployed as a permanently floating unit or may be floated into place and sunk as a deployment method. Many units may be attached to each other in one location and then floated to the deployment location. Openings 600 are optionally provided to allow for filling a buoyant additional frame structure with water or other material and thereby sinking it as a method of deployment. Shift and flow walls 512 and additional water control walls 514, 516, 518 may be provided as needed.

FIG. 15 illustrates a unit 46 of an embodiment having a frame structure 84 having a top edge that extends higher than the wall sections, creating a barrier to the lateral spread of a wave along the wall sections of different modular units.

FIG. 16 illustrates that the high frame structure 86 may be provided with openings 602 to allow a restricted lateral movement of water across the high frame structure.

FIG. 17 and FIG. 18 illustrate an embodiment of the invention having migration wall sections 604, 608 provided with openings 610, the purpose of the openings being to allow the migration of larger aquatic species, with the size of the openings limiting the maximum size of aquatic species allowed. As illustrated, openings in adjacent migration wall sections may be offset to minimize a wave's ability to pass straight through, and the migration wall sections may be sized to provide a face reaching farther toward the ground in order to regain function lost to the openings.

Referring to FIG. 19, the invention may be configured with wall sections presenting faces slanting in opposite directions, either by adding reverse-facing wall sections 202, 204, 206, 208, 210 or by providing double-facing wall sections 302, 304, 306, 308, 310. In the embodiment shown, two modular units 50, 52 are arranged back-to-back, with each unit having wall sections facing in two directions. A wave approaching from either general direction will be incrementally dissipated by the first unit encountered and then be further incrementally dissipated by the reverse-facing wall sections of the second unit encountered. Such an arrangement provides for a very high degree of stabilization and dissipation of approaching waves.

FIG. 20 illustrates the use of reverse-facing wall sections and double-facing wall sections in a double unit 64.

FIG. 21 illustrates a universal frame structure 654 having an optional spear head 651 and optional anchoring clip 652 and clip notch 653. The universal frame structure is shown secured by screw pilings 94 which provide a means of setting and adjusting the elevation of the unit. Although the universal frame structure can be made large and heavy, a smaller and lighter universal frame structure is suitable for smaller installations such as lakes and inland waterways, where a variety of wall sections or overall unit wall sections may be provided for a variety of needs, with all such wall sections adapted to fit the universal frame structure. The components may be made buoyant in order to avoid sinking into soft or marshy ground. Such a lightweight and standardized system is well-suited to deployment by individual landowners or for economical large-scale protection of marshes.

FIG. 22 illustrates an embodiment of a unit wall section 72 formed by connecting or molding together wall sections 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, reverse-facing wall sections 202, 204, 206, 208, 210, and connecting wall sections 160, leaving the necessary open spaces.

FIG. 23 illustrates an embodiment of a unit wall section 74 formed by connecting or molding together double-facing wall sections 302, 304, 306, 308, 310 and connecting wall sections 160, leaving the necessary open spaces.

FIG. 24 illustrates an embodiment of a modular unit 52 having wall sections 102, 104, 106, 108, 110 and reverse-facing wall sections 202, 204, 206, 208, 210 with open spaces between, and having frame structures 84 having a top edge that extends higher than the wall sections, creating a barrier to the lateral spread of a wave along the wall sections of different modular units.

FIG. 25 illustrates an embodiment of a modular unit 54 having nine double-facing wall sections 302, 304, 306, 308, 310, 312, 314, 316, 318 and having frame structures 702 having a top edge that does not extend higher than the wall sections, thereby allowing the lateral spread of a wave along the wall sections of different modular units.

FIG. 26 illustrates and embodiment of a modular unit 58 having wall sections 402, 404, 406, 408 and a reverse-faced wall section 410 and a water control wall 412 all having curved faces, and having a frame structure 414 having a top edge that extends higher than the wall sections, creating a barrier to the lateral spread of a wave along the wall sections of different modular units.

FIG. 27 illustrates and embodiment of a modular unit 60 having wall sections 402, 404, 406, 408 and a reverse-faced wall section 410 and a water control wall 412 all having curved faces, and having a frame structure 416 having a top edge that does not extend higher than the wall sections, thereby allowing the lateral spread of a wave along the wall sections of different modular units.

While this invention has been described in detail with particular reference to its preferred embodiments, the principles and modes of operation of the invention have also been described in this specification. The invention should not be construed as being limited to the particular forms disclosed, which are illustrative rather than restrictive. Modifications, variations, and changes may be made by those skilled in the art without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention as described by the following claims.