Living shorelines are a green infrastructure technique using native vegetation alone or in combination with low sills to stabilize the shoreline. Living shorelines provide a natural alternative to ‘hard’ shoreline stabilization methods like rip rap or bulkheads, and provide numerous benefits including nutrient pollution remediation, essential fish habitat structure, and buffering of shorelines from waves and storms. Research indicates that living shorelines are more resilient than bulkheads in protecting against the effects of hurricanes.
Living shorelines use plants or other natural elements — sometimes in combination with harder shoreline structures — to stabilize estuarine coasts, bays, and tributaries.
Living shorelines store carbon for centuries (known as carbon sequestration), reducing the amount of carbon dioxide flowing in the atmosphere.