Sandy Hook, NJ - Living shorelines are good for those who live around America's coastal waterways as well as what lives in those coastal waterways. Yet despite their win-win nature, there has been consistent resistance to creating living shorelines.
The American Littoral Society is happy to be among the organizations tapped to help produce the new report from Restore America's Estuaries, called "Living Shorelines: From Barriers to Opportunities." The report provides a national assessment of institutional barriers that are preventing broader use of living shorelines and provides clear recommendations and strategies to move forward.
"We know what we need to do and now it's time to make progress," said Jeff Benoit, president and CEO of Restore America's Estuaries.
"Historically we have managed our shorelines by building hard structures like seawalls and bulkheads, which actually cause more erosion and create a false sense of security because when they fail, they increase flooding and risk to lives and property."
The report identifies three major obstacles to broader use of living shorelines:
1) Institutional inertia
2) lack of a broader planning context, and
3) lack of an advocate.
To address these obstacles, the report identifies four broad strategies, including education and outreach, regulatory reform, improved institutional capacity, and public agencies as role models. Each strategy identifies a number of specific recommendations for action by decision and policy makers.
"The shoreline is vital for our bays," Said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society. "Rather than allowing continued piecemeal destruction, we have mapped out a strategy for protecting this critical area. Walls don't protect what lives in the water or those who live around the water. That says it all about the need to move the findings of this study forward."
Report authors include five organizations with experts on living shorelines policy and management, including American Littoral Society, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, North Carolina Coastal Federation, Restore America's Estuaries, and Scheda Ecological Associates.
Find the full report here: https://www.estuaries.org/first-national-report-on-living-shorelines-institutional-barriers-released