Troy University researchers have been awarded a two-year $519,853 grant from the NOAA RESTORE Science Program that will identify where living shorelines are the most appropriate erosion control solution to protect tidal shorelines at various sites along the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Chris Boyd of TROY’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences is the lead investigator on the project, while Dr. Xutong Niu from the Department of Mathematics and Geomatics is among the co-investigators.
The project, “Living Shoreline Site Suitability Model Transfer for Selected Water Bodies within the Gulf of Mexico: A GIS and Remote Sensing-Based Approach,” will customize an existing living shoreline suitability model developed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences to work in Perdido Bay/Wolf Bay/Ono Island complex in coastal Alabama, Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana and Galveston Bay, Texas.
In addition, an interactive decision support tool will be created for these areas, as well as Tampa Bay, Florida where a similar Living Shorelines Suitability Model is currently being developed.
Living shorelines are an infrastructure technique that makes use of native vegetation alone or in combination with off-shore structures to stabilize shorelines, providing a natural alternative to the use of stone or bulkheads.
The use of living shorelines provide numerous benefits including erosion control, reduction of pollution, providing essential fish habitats and providing a natural buffer to protect shorelines from waves and storms.