What are living shorelines?

“Living shorelines” is a term used to define a number of shoreline protection options that allow for natural coastal 4704163182 ed473360f5 mprocesses 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, on-shore or off-shore breakwaters, groins or biologs to reduce wave energy, trap sediment, and filter runoff, while maintaining (or increasing) beach or wetland habitat (National Research Council, 2007). Several of these techniques are hybrids of traditional shoreline armoring and the softer approaches to shore protection. The goal is to retain much of the wind, tide, and storm-related wave protection of a hard structure, while maintaining some of the features of natural shorelines.


Restore America's Estuaries leadership to advance living shorelines

  • 2nd National Technology Transfer Workshop - Restore America's Estuaries, Save the Bay - San Francisco, and the California State Coastal Conservancing convened the second gathering of the living shorelines community February 21-22, 2018 in Oakland, CA!
  • Living Shorelines Academy – The one-stop online shop for living shorelines! This site provides a wide variety of information and tools for property owners and professionals alike. Check out the training modules, professionals directory, maps, literature, and more.

  • Monthly Virtual Meeting of the Living Shorelines Community of Practice - Participants provide updates about what’s happening in their region, ask questions of the group to seek advice, and hear from a presenter about an issue related to living shorelines. Highlighted discussions include: implementation and design; outreach and engagement; policy, permitting, and regulations; funding and appropriations; and much more. Please send an email to ssimon@estuaries.org if you’d like to be on the email list and participate in future gatherings.
  • Living Shorelines: From Barriers to Opportunities A report from Restore America's Estuaries that provides the first national assessment of institutional barriers preventing broader use of living shorelines. The report provides clear recommendations and strategies to move forward.
  • Mid-Atlantic Living Shorelines Summit The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake Bay Trust, and Restore America’s Estuaries were pleased to co-host the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Living Shorelines Summit, an in-depth discussion of the state of science, policy, and practice of Living Shorelines in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  • Restore-Adapt-Mitigate: Responding to Climate Change Through Coastal Habitat Restoration is a study released by Restore America's Estuaries in April 2012. The report links ecologically important coastal habitat restoration, and the use of living shorelines, with adaption and mitigation strategies as a way to reduce the impacts of climate change.