Delaware Hosts Free Lecture on Living Shorelines to Combat Erosion

A living shoreline at the Indian River MarinaA living shoreline being installed at the Indian River Marina. The green infrastructure projects use natural materials, such a coconut fiber coir logs as shown above as a barrier against erosion and flooding. /Submitted Image, Photo by DNREC

DOVER, DE — Property owners in Delaware are invited to a free lecture on Thursday, June 13, aimed at introducing the concept of living shorelines. The event, hosted by the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach, will begin at 2 p.m. and is open for registration until the day before.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is organizing the lecture through its Division of Watershed Stewardship. The event is also supported by the Delaware Living Shorelines Committee and the South Coastal Library.

Olivia Allread, outreach and communications coordinator with DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program, will deliver the lecture. Allread will provide an overview of living shorelines, explaining how they can protect and improve properties. Her presentation will highlight various types of living shorelines and the natural materials used in their construction.

Living shorelines use materials such as native plants, oyster shells, and biodegradable coconut-fiber coir logs to create barriers against shoreline erosion and flooding. This method not only helps stabilize shorelines but also enhances the natural beauty of ecosystems.

Allread will discuss the practical benefits of living shorelines, including improved property protection and aesthetic enhancement. She will also share resources and user-friendly tools available for landowners interested in implementing these strategies. Examples of successful projects in Delaware will also be showcased.

This lecture is part of ongoing educational efforts by the Delaware Living Shorelines Committee, a group committed to promoting the understanding and implementation of living shoreline strategies within the state. The DNREC Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program plays a key role in supporting the committee’s work.

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Exploring Living Shorelines: A Sustainable Solution for Coastal Resilience

Living shorelines offer an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional hard structures like seawalls and bulkheads. By using natural materials, these methods can adapt to changing conditions, support wildlife habitats, and improve water quality. They also help maintain the natural landscape, making them an attractive option for property owners looking to preserve or enhance their waterfronts.

The importance of living shorelines extends beyond individual properties. When implemented on a larger scale, these strategies can contribute to broader coastal resilience, helping communities better withstand storms and rising sea levels. This approach aligns with growing environmental awareness and the push towards sustainable development practices.

For property owners, understanding and utilizing living shorelines can lead to long-term cost savings. Traditional erosion control methods often require significant maintenance and eventual replacement. In contrast, living shorelines typically involve lower maintenance costs and offer lasting benefits.

The lecture provides an opportunity for property owners to learn about innovative ways to protect and beautify their shorelines while contributing to environmental conservation efforts. The South Coastal Library, located at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach, Delaware, will host the event. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance to secure their spot and gain valuable insights into living shorelines and their implementation.

As more property owners explore sustainable solutions for shoreline management, lectures like this one play a crucial role in spreading knowledge and encouraging adoption. By promoting living shorelines, Delaware aims to foster a more resilient and beautiful coastline for future generations.

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