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Breakwaters are shore-parallel structures located just offshore of the surf zone. They are designed to intercept and reduce incoming wave energy at the shoreline. They thereby protect the coastline behind breakwaters and encourage sediment accumulation in their lees, resulting in beach widening. Breakwaters are generally very solid, durable structures and are considered a hard-engineering protection measure. They are made up of strong material such as rock armour, poured concrete, dolos or tetrapods, and are often constructed in a series to reduce construction costs and protect longer coastal stretches. Well-designed breakwaters can provide stable and robust coastal protection while still maintaining shoreline natural forces. Their protective functions can be sustained for many years, requiring only basic monitoring and maintenance.