Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Institute History (VIMS)

Publication Date



VIMS 75th Anniversary Alumni Research Symposium


Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA


From 1926 to 1986, the former Lordship Gun Club, located on Long Island Sound in Stratford, Connecticut, was operated as a trap and skeet shooting facility, which resulted in the discharge of lead shot into surrounding waters and sediments. Between 1987 and 2000, studies were conducted to inform remedial decision-making; remediation occurred in several phases from 2000 to 2011. Remedial action involved excavation of shot-containing sediments and associated vegetation from the intertidal zone, lead shot extraction from excavated sediments, and replacement of sediments to their native locations. Subsequent monitoring has revealed that this action destabilized intertidal sediments and led to substantial erosion of the shoreline and dunes, which has limited efforts to reestablish native wetland vegetation. Erosion of sediment from the intertidal zone has also resulted in the concentration of residual lead shot on the sediment surface, which poses a potential exposure hazard to migratory waterfowl. To address these issues, a living shoreline pilot project, which includes an artificial reef and a smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) marsh, was constructed in May 2014. The purpose of the pilot project was to evaluate living shorelines for their potential: (1) decrease shoreline and dune erosion at the site; (2) further reduce potential ecological exposure to residual lead shot; and, (3) restore wildlife habitat within the adjacent Housatonic River Estuary and Long Island Sound. Results were evaluated in the context of a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) statistical framework. Methods, preliminary data, and lessons-learned are shared.


Presentation, VIMS 75th Anniversary, Institute History, Wetlands, Environmental Remediation