Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Raphael Crowley

Second Advisor

Dr. Kelly Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. William Dally

Department Chair

Dr. Alan Harris

College Dean

Dr. William Klostermeyer


This study compared two methods of shoreline protection – the common Reef Ball and the novel Pervious Oyster Shell Habitat (POSH). Both structures are meant to attenuate wave energy and subsequently reduce shoreline erosion. While Reef Balls have a long, documented history of effectively mitigating beach erosion, POSH units are new structures and their effectiveness had not yet been previously assessed. Clusters of POSH units and Reef Balls were deployed at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve’s shoreline at Kingsley Plantation. Wave staffs were placed seaward and shoreward from these clusters and wave heights were measured over a holiday weekend during approximate worst-case boat wake conditions. Data showed no statistically significant difference between Reef Ball and POSH performance, although it is interesting to note that in both cases, sometimes apparent wave height amplification as opposed to attenuation was observed as waves passed over the structures. However, we note that results presented here are for a limited range of tidal conditions and studying a greater tidal range could lead to different conclusions about the POSH units’ relative effectiveness.