On Dec. 15, the Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance released its living shoreline needs assessment that was developed by experts to identify what gaps exist in living shoreline research and practice in the Southeast U.S.

The GSAA is a formal collaborative between the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The alliance received funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a strategy for regional approaches to living shorelines in the four states, including a prioritized list of project needs.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation has teamed up with the GSAA this past year to host the Living Shorelines Summit in April 2016 and to advance the use of living shorelines in the region.

According to the GSAA website, “The [needs assessment] is a consensus statement from key members of the living shorelines community in the Southeast on the prioritized research, policies, and outreach needed to expand and enhance the appropriate use of living shorelines.”

The document identifies the information needs for various groups:

  • Property Owners
  • Living shoreline professionals such as designers, engineers, and marine installation contractors and suppliers
  • Developers
  • Resource managers
  • Regulators
  • Realtors
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Financial Risk Institutions
  • Other Indirect Beneficiaries

The assessment also identifies a list of research needs as well as several suggested policy initiatives. Initiatives focus on both monetary and non-monetary incentives, building a wider base of people with knowledge on how to design and build living shorelines, a focus on data collection and better communication between the South Atlantic states.

It also “identifies two broad categories of strategies needed to promote living shoreline use: targeted education and outreach directed to those constituencies best situated to affect shoreline management decisions; and policies that could influence multiple elements of shoreline management decision-making.”

You can check out the entire assessment here.