Development, Implementation, and Availability of the Gulf of Mexico Living Shorelines Suitability Models and Decision Support Tool

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Chris A. Boyd, Alexis Nank

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The current trend in the Gulf of Mexico is to install hard structures, such as, bulkheads, groins, or revetment on shorelines to protect waterfront coastal properties from erosion. In Alabama over 26% of the state’s tidal shoreline, 40% of Tampa Bay’s shoreline, and 20% of tidal marshes in Galveston Bay have been lost as a result of shoreline armoring. Hard structures tend to present negative effects to hydrodynamics and cause erosion to adjacent unprotected properties. Based on discussions from the greater Gulf of Mexico scientific community more decision support tools need to be produced and made available to help encourage the use of living shorelines to protect or restore coastal wetlands. The presenter will discuss the creation and application of the Gulf of Mexico Living Shoreline Management Model (LSSM) and the Shoreline Decision Support Tool (DST) as funded by the NOAA RESTORE Science Program, that return upland and shoreline recommendations. The Models discussed will include the Galveston Bay, Lake Pontchartrain, and Coastal Alabama LSSM (Figure 1) viewers along with the interactive DST (Figure 2). A short interactive training will be presented to allow the participants to understand essential input attributes and the ability to generate a natural or modified shoreline best management practice for a shoreline of interest upon completion of the seminar. In addition, challenges and solutions for implementing the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences LSSM for the select geographic regions in the Gulf of Mexico will also be discussed.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program