Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Special Report in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering No. 370


The data inventory developed for the Shoreline Situation Reports are based on a three-tiered shoreline assessment approach. This assessment characterizes conditions in the shorezone observed from a small boat moving along the shoreline. Handheld GPS units record data observations in the field. 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

  3. the shoreline, describing the presence of shoreline structures for shore protection and recreational purposes.

Three GIS coverages are generated from the collection technique. The essex_lubc coverage are features related to the land use in the riparian zone, and conditions at the bank. The essex_sstru coverage includes information pertaining to structures for shoreline defense. Finally, essex_astru identifies structures which 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.

The GIS coverages use a digitized 1:24,000 scale USGS high water line (HWL) shoreline as the baseline coverage. However, if the position of the digitized HWL differs greatly from the observed shoreline on a 1994 color infra-red digital ortho quarter quadrangle (DOQQ), the shoreline position is corrected to align more closely with the land-water interface observed in the DOQQ. Using ArcInfo, the base shoreline is re-coded with the attributes defined in each coverage.



Shoreline Inventories, Virginia, GIS, Management, Data

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.


Supported by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program; the Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program at the Department of Environmental Quality through Grant # NA770Z0204 of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended; and the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Department (award number 011D300).



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.