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Seth Wilkinson, CERP
This oral presentation describes lessons learned in various coastal marsh restoration projects in a diversity of exposure to coastal storm energies over more than a decade. 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. Both unsuccessful salt marsh restorations and successful salt marsh restorations will be clearly described, including a discussion of the causal features which led to the success or failure outcome of the restoration projects. I will describe new methods and innovative uses of soil bioengineering installations to restore coastal salt marshes. The case studies described in this presentation demonstrate that the use of soft engineering and native vegetation may be considered a long-term solution for addressing coastal erosion without the use of stone armor, revetments, or other hard structures and the negative environmental impacts associated with traditional hard armoring of shorelines. Strategies ranging from coir-based marsh restorations to cobble reinforced salt marshes are proving to be adaptation design strategies to stabilize our coasts and protect important coastal habitats, which are facing threats from increased rates of erosion due to sea level rise and more frequent and higher intensity storm events.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program