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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Living Shorelines Guidance

In the past 25 years, a more natural approach to shore stabilization, termed Living Shorelines, has used marshes, beaches, and dunes effectively to protect the shoreline along Virginia's creeks, rivers, and bays. Numerous benefits result from this approach to shoreline management, including creating critical habitiat for marine plants and animals, improving water quality, and reducing sedimentation. In addition, most waterfront property owners enjoy a continuous connection to the water that allows for enhanced recreational opportunities.Shoreline Management

Living Shoreline Design Guidance

In 2010, the Shoreline Studies Program created a course for contractors and managers that summarized our research on the performance sills around Chesapeake Bay, showed existing sites, and provided the opportunity to work through site-specific design issues. The course consists of a textbook, PowerPoint-based curriculum, and test. In addition, several tools were created to help class attendees in the design or review process. These include a site evaluation worksheet and Google Earth applications that contain relevant data for all sites in Chesapeake Bay.

The class contains references and tools needed to effectively use Living Shoreline strategies to manage the eroding shorelines of Chesapeake Bay. This information is for guidance only, and should not replace professional judgments made at specific sites by qualified individuals.

These projects were funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended.


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