Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)

Publication Date



The Chesapeake Bay has about 6.5 million people living in its coastal counties and much of the shoreline is privately-owned. For communities along the shore, the continual shore retreat may be a problem. When land along the shore show signs of erosion, property owners tend to address it.

These guidelines are meant to address the need to educate consultants, contractors, and other professionals in the use of living shoreline strategies. It provides the necessary information to determine where they are appropriate and what is involved in their design and construction. The guidelines focus on the use of created marsh fringes but also touch on the use of oysters and beaches for shore protection. The guidelines were created for the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay estuarine system but may be applicable to other similar estuarine environments. These references and tools are for guidance only and should not replace professional judgments made at specific sites by qualified individuals.



Living Shoreline, Shore Protection, Virginia Estuarine


This project was funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Department of Environmental Quality through Grant #NA16NOS4190163 of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, or any of its subagencies.