Coastal bank and salt marsh restoration: Examples of low impact and soft engineering strategies

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Mickey Marcus

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This paper describes soil bioengineering techniques, living shoreline construction, and coastal marsh restoration techniques to stabilize eroding coastal shorelines and marshes.  Although the examples provided are from North America, the innovative techniques described may be used to restore coastal shorelines worldwide. The use of native vegetation to stabilize eroded shorelines, in concert with soil bioengineering techniques, is well adapted to withstand sea level rise and high-intensity storm events, while allowing landward migration of coastal vegetation and the critical habitat it supports. We describe new methods and innovative uses of soil bioengineering installation to restore coastal shorelines, coastal dunes, and salt marshes. The case studies described in this presentation demonstrate that after 20 years of installation, the use of soft engineering and native vegetation may be considered a long-term solution for addressing coastal erosion without the use of stone armour, revetments, or other hard structures and the negative environmental impacts associated with traditional hard armouring of shorelines. Strategies such as high-density coconut fiber rolls and geo-lifts are proving to be adaptation design strategies to stabilize our coasts, which are facing increased rates of erosion due to sea level rise and more frequent storm events.    

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration