• Learn About Living Shorelines

    Learn About Living Shorelines

    Learn about living shorelines – what they are, how they are designed and built, and how
    they serve our coastal habitats and communities. Whether you are a property owner
    looking for alternatives to mitigate erosion on your shoreline property, or a contractor or
    a policy maker looking to gain more in depth knowledge about the design and
    permitting of living shorelines, on this site you can find a course, project databases,
    literature and additional resources to help you achieve those goals.

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What are Living Shorelines?

“Living shorelines” is a term used to define a number of shoreline protection alternatives that allow for natural coastal processes to remain through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill, and other structural and organic materials. Living shorelines often rely on native plants, sometimes supplemented with stone sills, off-shore breakwaters, groins or biologs or other structural approaches to reduce erosion, trap sediment, and filter runoff, while maintaining (or increasing) beach wetland habitat, and/or riparian habitats (National Research Council, 2007). Several of these techniques are hybrids of traditional shoreline armoring and softer approaches to protecting shorelines and mitigating erosion. The goal of a living shoreline is to retain the shoreline stabilization effects of a hard structure, while maintaining the important functions provided by natural shoreline ecosystems.

Living Shorelines Academy Goals

The goals of the Living Shorelines Academy are to:

  • Increase the abundance of coastal wetlands
  • Advance the policy, science, and practice of living shorelines
  • Enhance collaboration among governmental and private stakeholders

By working towards these goals, the Academy aims to reduce the degradation of coastal wetlands fringing shorelines and fish habitat that surrounds our nation’s estuaries -- one of our nation’s most valuable ecological and economic resources.

What you Will find

The Academy has created tools to elevate the understanding, importance, and practice of using living shorelines to enhance on-the-ground storm resiliency and create new wetlands. In particular, this academy provides:

Welcome to the Living Shorelines Academy!