As a part of an agency wide effort to encourage the use of Living Shorelines (also known as “Green Shorelines”), in October the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released Guidance for Considering the Use of Living Shorelines.
According to the NOAA press release,
“Living shorelines can preserve and improve habitats and their ecosystem services at the land-water interface. Although erosion is a natural coastal process, coastal communities face constant challenges from shoreline erosion that threaten valuable resources along the nation’s coastline. Living shorelines are gaining attention around the country as an alternative to traditional shoreline stabilization techniques like seawalls and bulkheads, which create a barrier between land and water.”
The guidance helps clarify what to consider when selecting a shoreline protection measures to strike the appropriate balance of shoreline stabilization and resource conservation.
A recent study by NOAA provides some new additional motivation for the use of Living Shorelines. The study, conducted on fringe marshes in North Carolina found that Living Shorelines can contribute to carbon sequestration, providing value beyond erosion control, improved aesthetics, and protecting fish habitats. “Shoreline management techniques like this can help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while increasing coastal resilience,” said Russell Callender, PhD, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.“
Living Shorelines are looking increasingly like the type of “win-win” resilience improvement strategy that could gain widespread endorsement and attention. Multiple CHRN members are working to increase the use of Living Shorelines around Washington State, including Jay Kreinitz through the Estuary and Salmon Recovery Program (ESRP) and Nicole Faghin through the Green Shores Program.
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