The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Watershed Stewardship have introduced the Delaware Living Shorelines Monitoring Framework, a tool to help landowners, professionals and scientists develop plans for gauging the success of living shoreline projects installed throughout the state.
Living shorelines are a natural and effective way to stabilize a shoreline, reduce erosion, and provide beneficial habitat in coastal environments, providing a natural alternative to hard shoreline stabilization methods such as bulkheads and riprap, with the “softer” alternatives offering numerous benefits over hard stabilization options, including providing wildlife habitat and runoff remediation.
The monitoring framework was created by the Delaware Living Shorelines Committee, comprising professionals from DNREC, National Estuary Programs, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and private engineering and consulting companies.
The committee provides practitioners and researchers the opportunity to discuss current living shoreline projects in Delaware, along with upcoming projects, and enables them to stay informed on new policies or techniques.
“Living shorelines are the foundation of a unique, natural environmental strategy to counter erosion. As the strategy for installing these evolves, the monitoring methodology created by the Delaware Living Shorelines Committee will help ensure the creation of more effective and resilient shorelines in the future,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.
The Living Shoreline Monitoring Framework outlines how to identify and prioritize living shoreline project goals – such as shoreline stabilization, habitat creation, and water quality improvement – and other objectives.
The step-by-step framework helps a user assess whether a living shoreline is developing correctly for each goal, and how to manage a site better if the living shoreline’s performance is lagging.