Dynamic Coastal Environments

Coastal areas are naturally dynamic environments, an always changing interface
between land and water. Shorelines along the coast and in estuaries erode and accrete over time – that’s what they do! What storms and waves take from one place they deposit someplace else. Tide goes in and out daily, and sea levels rise and fall over the years.

 

Shoreline Hardening

Shoreline hardening, including seawalls and bulkheads interrupts natural shoreline processes, reduces nursery habitat for marine species, like important recreational fish, and foraging habitat for wading birds, leads to degraded water quality, and can be more costly than using natural materials to control erosion.

Slope, Plants & Oysters

The purpose of the Florida Living Shorelines website is to make it easier for coastal property owners, public and private, to take a softer, more environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective approach to shoreline stabilization wherever needed and appropriate. This website shows how to use plants and other natural materials to help protect eroding shorelines from wave and storm damage in the bays and estuaries of coastal Florida.

A thriving habitat!

Want to catch more fish from your property?
Living shorelines can help provide the energy and habitat to make that happen!

Erosion

Erosion along estuary shorelines is a natural process which can be greatly compounded by human activities. Sea level rise further compounds erosion problems by changing the location of the coast line and exposing new areas to erosion.

Native Plants & Oyster Reefs

Using native plants and oyster reefs on a sloped shoreline provides not only a beautiful natural shoreline system, but can also be a less expensive alternative to armoring your shoreline using traditional seawalls and bulkheads. As an added benefit, your shoreline contributes to making more fish to catch and wildlife to view, all in your backyard!

Welcome

Our Florida bays and estuaries are important coastal ecosystems, and they do a lot of good things when allowed to function naturally. How we treat the connections between the waters of these systems and the land around them largely determines how well both function in concert together. Shorelines are vulnerable to the erosive effects of waves in the water, and shoreline property owners have a number of different options available to them to address this problem. This website provides information about designs integrating natural plant and animal communities commonly referred to as “living shorelines” for property owners and managers around coastal Florida. Have a look – it’s not just seawalls anymore!

Our Mission

The purpose of the Florida Living Shorelines website is to make it easier for coastal property owners, public and private, to take a softer, more environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective approach to shoreline stabilization wherever needed and appropriate.

We want to show you how to use plants and other natural materials to help protect eroding shorelines from wave and storm damage in the bays and estuaries of coastal Florida. The techniques described on this site, referred to as living shoreline treatments, can be used in relatively low wave energy areas instead of traditional coastal armoring systems such as seawalls and bulkheads. They can also help enhance natural habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife – creating living, thriving shorelines instead of barriers to life!

We invite you to explore this site, and hope the information provided helps make it easy to take the softer approach.