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:
- Living shorelines training modules that take advantage of proven training and education strategies used by the EPA for years to engage, train and learn from stakeholders
- A peer-reviewed database of white papers and reports on the subject of living shorelines
- A database of existing living shorelines project databases
- A map of highlighted living shorelines projects across the US
- A library of living shoreline resources, including trainings, websites, print materials, videos and more
- A directory of living shorelines professionals
- An online forum where the living shorelines community can collaborate by sharing research, ideas and photos
Welcome to the Living Shorelines Academy!