SHU’s Living Shoreline Project Selected for Funding

A multi-state project, including a research team from the Biology Department at Sacred Heart University (SHU), was selected for funding to monitor, evaluate and provide recommendations for the design and placement of living shorelines or nature-based infrastructure as part of a $1 million 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Resilience Grant.

The grant will be awarded to the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) and New England Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Agencies in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut with partners from the Nature Conservancy.

An additional $500,000 in matching funds was provided by the partners to undertake the work.

Jennifer Mattei, restoration ecologist and biology professor at SHU, will lead a team of researchers to monitor the Stratford Point Living Shoreline site with sensors and terrestrial LiDar technologies.

SHU will collaborate with James O’Donnell, executive director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), and professor of marine sciences at the University of Connecticut.

This partnership will result in a modeling effort that will ultimately help coastal communities better manage storm events. The monitoring data will inform how well this living shoreline performs to reduce coastal erosion under real-world conditions.