Shoreline Best Management Practices

Guidance intended to help regulators, property owners, and others make decisions regarding coastal resources based on surrounding shoreline conditions.  It is the Commonwealth’s policy that living shoreline practices are the preferred alternatives where possible. The definition of a living shoreline means a shoreline management practice that:

  • provides erosion control and water quality benefits;
  • protects, restores or enhances natural shoreline habitat; and
  • maintains coastal processes

through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill, and other structural and organic materials.  [Code of Virginia §28.2-104.1]

Shoreline Management Model

GIS-based model determines appropriate practices based on available shoreline condition data.  Current version: Shoreline Management Model v. 5.1, 2019

Self-Guided Decision Tools
  • Shoreline Decision Support Tool An interactive tool that combines on-site observations with Shoreline Management Model recommendations (currently in beta-testing)
  • Original Decision Trees A series of decision trees that leads users through questions about shoreline conditions to produce a best practice recommendation (published in 2010)