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Virginia CZM Program: 2006 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Project Title:

Support for the Joint VA/MD Living Shoreline Summit

Project Description as Proposed:

This project will help support the planned Virginia-Maryland Living Shorelines Summit, which will be held in Williamsburg, Virginia, December 6-7, 2006.  Erosion has led to the armoring of many miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline and in some subestuaries, more than half of the shoreline has been hardened with bulkhead, riprap revetments, seawalls, and other types of shoreline armor.  However, equal and in some cases better shoreline protection can be achieved with the relatively new technique of “living shorelines.” An alternative to hardening, living shorelines employ natural habitat elements to protect shorelines from erosion while also providing critical habitat for bay wildlife and water quality benefits.  Living shorelines may incorporate materials that include marsh plantings, shrubs and trees, low profile sills and breakwaters, strategically placed organic material, and other techniques that recreate the natural functions of a shoreline ecosystem.  Living Shorelines have been used in the Chesapeake Bay region for at least 20 years, with various techniques and outcomes.  The goal of the Living Shorelines Summit is to bring together those groups, including marine contractors, shoreline engineers, policy-makers, scientists, and property-owners, who work with or are interested in the technique of using living shorelines to discuss:

 Current status of living shoreline research – engineering and ecological

 Site suitability and design methods

 Decision-making tools

 State-specific management & policy

 Education and outreach

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

William Reay; (804) 684-7119;

Project Status:

10/1/06 - 12/31/06; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Living Shorelines Summit (PDF)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

The Living Shoreline Summit was held on December 6 and 7, 2006 in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Sponsors of the Summit included: Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR) Maryland (MD) Chesapeake Bay Trust, CBNERR Virginia, Chesapeake Research Consortium, Keith Campbell Foundation, MD Coastal Zone Management Program, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, NOAA Restoration Center, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), and VIMS Center for Coastal Resources Management.  CBNERR Virginia served as the host for the Summit.  Presentations on December 6 were attended by 175 individuals, and presentations on December 7 were attended by 168 individuals.  The majority of Summit attendees registered online.    

Attendees included individuals from state and federal government, local government, county and city wetlands boards, non-profit organizations, environmental consultants, state and local regulatory boards, academicians, marine contractors, local nurserymen, and private landowners.  At registration, Summit attendees received a 3-ring binder which included the Summit’s Sponsors and Partners, names and affiliations of the Living Shorelines Summit Steering Committee, a detailed agenda, a participant roster, abstracts for each of the scientific papers presented at the Summit, an evaluation form, and multiple informational fact sheets, brochures, and flyers supplied by sponsors and partners.  

There were 14 sessions over the course of 2 days, which included keynote speakers, panel discussions, and scientific presentations.  A total of 46 individuals participated as speakers, facilitators, or panel members.  Exhibitors, sponsors, and partners had tables in the dining area, where a poster session and exhibits were staged the evening of Dec 6, 2006.  Designated “note takers” were assigned to each panel session and the Summit wrap-up session.  In addition to the single page Living Shorelines Summit evaluation collected at the Summit (64 evaluations collected), all registrants were contacted by electronic mail 1 week after the Summit and were given the web address of an online (Survey Monkey) evaluation.  Registrants were encouraged to participate in the online survey that was available for 6 weeks and closed January 30, 2007 (80 attendees completed the online survey).  

Summit proceedings will be peer-reviewed and published in mid-2007.  All Living Shoreline Summit attendees will receive a CD of the proceedings.  Hard copies of the proceedings will be produced, although the number (to be printed) has not yet been established.  Since the end of the Summit there have been requests for additional copies of the proceedings, as well as requests from individuals unable to attend the Summit.  To the extent possible, proceedings will be distributed to these individuals as well.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy


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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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