Tarps are a go-to item in protecting your vehicle or similar investment from exposure to the elements, but what about the ground? Tarps are designed to protect an item, be it a car or a pile of wood, from exposure to UV rays and water. As polyethylene and vinyl tarps are waterproof, water and other moisture simply rolls right off. While this is ideal for protecting a car or other vehicle kept outdoors, does it have other applications?
As a story from NJ.com shows, tarps have been involved in reducing erosion from the Hoboken waterfront. A sinkhole apparently formed in the area, and while the debris around the site is being cleared, erosion is still a problem. As the article explains, sandbags and tarps have been placed in the area to prevent erosion from happening by storms.
Because of a tarp’s waterproof properties, placing the material over an area experiencing erosion and securing it with sandbags is one approach to preventing more damage from occurring. While erosion can occur along any coastline, sinkholes and similarly sloped areas are also prone to it. As the NJ.com article mentions, the sinkhole in Hoboken started a week ago, and has expanded since then. Erosion would continue the expansion of the hole and would put sediment, silt, and other substances into the water.
This isn’t the only instance in which we’ve seen tarps used in such a context. A year ago, we reported that the Oregon silverspot butterfly was experiencing a reduction in habitat. Blackberry plants were overtaking meadow species, and to prevent their growth, tarps were added. Although the tarps didn’t eliminate the growth of non-meadow plants, they kept amounts down and allowed the butterfly, put on the threatened list under the Endangered Species Act, to continue to live in its natural habitat.