Shoreline Planning

What are Shoreline Protection and Shoreline Management Plans?

Making improvements to the shoreline management and shoreline protection planning process is a key element in minimizing adverse environmental impacts associated with mitigating shore erosion. Shoreline Management and Shoreline Protection Plans consist of a site or locality-wide report that assesses the risks associated with coastal processes and develops recommendations to help reduce these risks to people, property, and the historic and natural environment. Coastal processes include geology, shoreline change, tide and storm surge, wave climate, and sea level rise.

Shoreline Protection Plans analyze shorelines on a reach-by-reach basis and provide stakeholders with site specific information, including typical cross-sections of recommended structures. Developing effective shore protection cross-sections is crucial to the stakeholder’s decision-making process since cost is a major factor in all shoreline management projects. 

The objectives of the Shoreline Studies Program's Shoreline Protection Plans are as follows:

  • To define, in general terms, the erosion risks to shorelines and the developed, historic, and natural environment at the site.
  • To identify the preferred recommendations for shore protection and provide site-specific information to support those recommendations.
  • To inform homeowners, planners, developers and others of the shoreline management options when considering future shore protection along the shoreline

Shoreline Management Plans are somewhat more general in nature. These plans describe the best management practices, and can be applied to a wide range of shorelines in a locality.

Both the Shoreline Management and Protection Plans promote management recommendations, particularly Living Shorelines, which achieve long-term objectives, while being technically sustainable, environmentally acceptable and economically viable.


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