Island habitat restoration projects must take into account the dynamics of the landform and its ecosystems. Barrier islands, for example, naturally move landward and experience overwash, which takes place when strong storm waves push beach sediments across the island to the bay side. Wildlife on islands has adjusted to, and sometimes relies on, these coastal processes.
In response, coastal engineers can construct restoration projects to accommodate these conditions. Beach nourishment projects can be designed to produce an overwash fan, thereby creating the barrier flat habitat that many shorebirds and shellfish require for nesting and foraging. Conversely, such projects can be designed to prevent natural overwash if necessary.