Living Shorelines

Living shorelines are nature-based approaches for shoreline protection.  These stabilization techniques not only protect shorelines and infrastructure, they also conserve, create or restore natural shoreline habitats and ecosystem services.  The Virginia General Assembly now has a policy that living shoreline techniques are the preferred stabilization methods for tidal shorelines.

Living Shoreline Benefits
  • Reduce erosion
  • Improve marine habitat & spawning areas
  • Provide attractive natural appearance                   
  • Improve water quality                 
  • Filter stormwater runoff & groundwater

Living shoreline projects can be installed on tidal shorelines as well as freshwater ponds and lakes wherever erosion is a problem.  Many shorelines are highly suitable for living shoreline practices depending on the location, land and water uses, erosion and flood risk, and other factors.  In some cases, nature-based approaches are not feasible or the risk level is too high for living shoreline solutions to adequately address.  

Living Shorelines Decision Tools