Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



The data inventory developed for the Shoreline Situation Reports is based on a three-tiered shoreline assessment approach. In most cases this assessment characterizes conditions that can be observed from a small boat navigating along the shoreline. Hand-held GPS units are used to log features observed. The three tiered shoreline assessment approach divides the shorezone into three regions: 1) the immediate riparian zone, evaluated for land use; 2) the bank, evaluated for height, stability, cover and natural protection; and 3) the shoreline, describing the presence of shoreline structures for shore protection and recreational purposes. Three GIS coverages are generated. The westm_lubc coverage are features related to the land use in the riparian zone, and conditions at the bank. The westm_sstruc coverage includes information pertaining to structures for shoreline defense. Finally, westm_astruc identifies structures that are typically built for access and recreational activities at the shore. They can be downloaded from this site through links at the bottom of this page. A metadata file is provided to describe each coverage.

GIS coverages are developed from the GPS datasets collected in the field. The coverages use a shoreline basemap generated by the Virginia Base Mapping Program (VBPM) from high resolution natural color imagery. The base shoreline is re-coded to reflect features and attributes observed in the field. The metadata file that accompanies the coverages defines attribute accuracy, data development, and any use restrictions that pertain to the data. When downloading data from this site, the users agree to all conditions outlined in the disclaimer below.



Shoreline Inventories, Virginia, GIS, Management, Data


Special Report in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering No. 395

Publication Statement

Disclaimer: The Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) provides these data with the understanding that they are not guaranteed to be correct or complete, and conclusions drawn from the data set are the sole responsibility of the user. Every attempt has been made to ensure that these data and the documentation are reliable and accurate. CCRM, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), and the Commonwealth of Virginia assume no liability for any damages caused by inaccuracies in the data or documentation; and make no warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or utility of this information, nor does the fact of distribution constitute a warranty.


This project was funded in part by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Department of Environmental Quality through Grant # NA05NOS4191180 of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended.