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Living Shorelines

Measuring Success

In general, a living shoreline is successful if the following criteria take place:

  1. The living shoreline stays in place. The living shoreline does not wash away or slide down into the subtidal zone (always under water).
  2. For oyster-based living shorelines, oysters are growing. Baby oysters should be visible within one year of the living shoreline establishment.
  3. Substrate is built up between the living shoreline and the existing marsh.
  4. Marsh growth is promoted. New plants are growing on the new, built-up mud or the living shoreline keeps the existing salt marsh from eroding away.

Every site is different, and some living shoreline projects may be more successful than others. A recent study by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR, 2019) compared the performance of several living shoreline methods installed across the SC coast and monitored over several years. To learn more about performance expectations for materials and site characteristics based on SCDNR research, visit the “Summary of Living Shoreline Research to Inform Regulatory Decision Making In South Carolina, SCDNR, 2019

Living Shorelines
Living Shorelines | 259 Meeting St., Charleston, SC 29401