The RFP for this project requested a new, cost-effective, ecologically friendly shoreline stabilization design that was sustainable and replicable. Underwood & Associates, Inc. (U&A) won this design award and construction project based on our Living Shoreline approach. In place of 1,000 feet of failing bulkhead, we constructed three headland marshes and attendant tombolos in tidewater to function as breakwaters and create shallow lagoons. Wave and littoral energy was re-directed and sediment accretion continues to contribute to new beach strand development and the formation of a tidal marsh.
Two regenerative stream channels were integrated in the upland valleys to capture surface water runoff and convert it to springhead seeps that emerge at the tidal interface. The reconnection of these historic valleys results in the full integration of the tidewater interface with the terrestrial landscape, allowing wave energy associated with large storms and high tides to break out onto the landscape in a non-erosive manner. The resultant system provides living resources and water quality benefits and met all the qualifications of the RFP. This $500,000 construction project was built under the auspices of the Department of Natural Resources and is currently being studied by several scientific organizations including VIMS, SERC, and UMCES. It is the model for future DNR Living Shoreline projects.