Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)

Publication Date



The Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has generated Shoreline Situation Reports (SSRs) for coastal localities in the state of Maryland. This effort compliments a parallel effort in Virginia by the same group. SSRs were developed by VIMS in the 1970s for Virginia and have been the foundation for shoreline management planning in Tidewater Virginia ever since. CCRM has developed new protocols for collecting, disseminating, and reporting data relevant to shoreline management issues using state of the art mapping and remote sensing techniques. New SSRs are being generated on a county by county basis for Maryland and Virginia. This series is published entirely in digital format.

The data inventory developed for the Shoreline Situation Report 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 access.

Three GIS coverages are developed from GPS datasets collected in the field. The wor_lubc coverage are features related to land use in the riparian zone, and conditions at the bank. This is an arc coverage. The wor_sstruc coverage includes information pertaining to structures for shoreline defense. This is an arc coverage. Finally, wor_astruc identifies structures that are typically built for access and recreational activities at the shore. This is a point coverage.

The coverages use a shoreline basemap generated in-house from digital ortho quarter quadrangles (DOQQs) using photo-interpretation techniques. The shoreline is re-coded to reflect features and attributes observed in the field. The metadata file accompanies the coverages and defines attribute accuracy, data development, and any use restrictions that pertain to data.


doi: 10.25773/wysp-9140


Shoreline Inventories, GIS, Management, Data

Publication Statement

The Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) provides these data with the understanding that it is 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. Neither CCRM, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), nor Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) assume liability for any damages caused by inaccuracies in the data or documentation, or as a result of failure of the data to perform in a particular manner. CCRM, VIMS, and DNR 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.

Individuals who download these data agree to the following, and understand the limitations defined:

Integration of these data into other products requires proper citation. Proper citation for this dataset is: "Berman, M.R., Berquist, H., Killeen, S., Nunez, K., Reay, K., Rudnicky, T., Schatt, D.E., and D. Weiss, 2006. Development of the Maryland Shoreline Inventory Methods and Guidelines for Worcester County, Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, Virginia, 23062. doi: 10.25773/wysp-9140"

Use of these data in map publications, either digital or hardcopy, requires proper citation.

  • CCRM is not responsible for misuse of these data.
  • CCRM does not oversee or assume responsibility for alterations to this product by users.
  • CCRM may not address specific questions from users who received the data through another party.
  • Distribution of these data is not restricted. CCRM, however, recommends metadata file(s) always remain with the data.
  • CCRM encourages noticeable errors be reported to CCRM contact person identified in the metadata file.


These data are a product of the Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program. The project was funded through the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources pursuant to NOAA awards 14-03-889 CZM 049, and 14-04-942 CZM 086 of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies. The authors would like to thank Ken Miller and his staff of MD Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake and Coastal Watershed Service for providing digital imagery.



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