Wetland vegetation can stabilize shorelines by reducing the energy of waves, currents and other corrosive forces. At the same time, the roots of the plants hold the bottom sediment in place, preventing erosion of valuable land.
As concerns physical destruction of coastal and marine areas causing degradation of the marine environment, Agenda 21 recommends that priority actions should include control and prevention of coastal erosion and siltation due to anthropogenic factors related to, [inter alia], land-use and construction techniques and practices.
A technology called bioengineering is now being used to combat coastal erosion with good success. This combines mechanical, biological, and ecological concepts to arrest and prevent coastal erosion. An example is the planting of willows interspersed with rock rip-rap. The rock provides immediate resistance to erosion. As the willows become established, roots invade and permeate the rock and underlying soil, binding them together into an erosion resistant mass.