Along our state’s 12,000 linear miles of estuarine shorelines, the Coastal Federation encourages public and private waterfront property owners to use environmentally beneficial shoreline stabilization alternatives that will both protect their investments and provide for good water quality and habitat that support more fish and wildlife.
- Demonstrate the usefulness and effectiveness of living shorelines
- Work directly with government agencies and private property owners to assist them with the design, permitting, and construction of living shorelines
- Provide financial assistance for projects by obtaining grants and through a Living Shoreline Cost-Share Program
- Address regulatory roadblocks that discourage agencies and landowners from installing living shorelines even when they are the most practical and environmentally friendly, cost-effective erosion control option
- Provide training and education to shoreline stakeholders including property owners, contractors, and engineers
Streamlined Permits for Many Living Shorelines Projects Now Possible
Permits to build living shorelines of 500 or less linear feet in length got a lot easier in 2019 along our coast after the Federation successfully worked with the N.C. Division of Coastal Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a host of other federal and state regulatory agencies as well as academic researchers to simplify their general permit process for marsh sills.
The effect of this coordinated state and federal permit process is that property owners and their contractors can now get approval to build living shoreline projects as easily as they can get approval for bulkheads and other hardened techniques.
Regulatory Reform to Facilitate the Proper Use of Living Shorelines is Needed
Despite support and funds from federal and state leaders to use nature-based strategies such as living shorelines to enhance coastal resilience and ecosystems, existing federal and state permit review procedures still create significant obstacles and delays in obtaining permits to construct larger-scale living shoreline projects that exceed 500 feet in length. These obstacles have the unintended consequence of pushing property owners to use less regulated but more environmentally damaging shoreline stabilization methods such as seawalls and bulkheads. To arrive at reasonable and workable regulatory standards for large-scale living shoreline projects, the Federation has established a Living Shoreline Policy Working Group to evaluate how to revise and update agency rules so that regulatory reviews result in the selection of the most environmentally beneficial shoreline stabilization methods.
How We Got Here
For a quick review of accomplishments, lessons learned, and living shoreline permit categories, check out this presentation on Living Shoreline Permitting in NC.
You can help make a difference for our coast—one living shoreline at a time!