Groin Groan


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Spotted at Johns Pass, Treasure Island, Florida January 2020

I snapped this photo because the usage of the word groin struck me as odd. Previously, I was only familiar with it anatomically. Turns out groin* has another, rather specialized meaning: beach training structure designed to interrupt the flow of sand. Don’t you just love the idea of training a beach? Sit. Stay. Good beach. As if!

It strikes me as odd, with all the traveling I’ve done and my two plus years of living coastally that this is the first time I’ve encountered this term. After doing my research, I still have a problem with this sign. Technically, a groin is shorter than a jetty and is constructed in a series to protect beachside property from erosion, while a jetty is built to protect a coastal inlet or channel.

Since this structure is on the south side of Johns Pass, helping to keep access to Boca Ciega Bay open to water traffic, it is therefore, a jetty and not a groin. Nevertheless, this sign gave me an opportunity to learn something new.

*Of course, the rest of the world uses a different spelling (which lessens confusion): groyne, from Latin for snout.

Categories: Observations

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