Living Shorelines Workshop III

  • Group on beach
    Climate Adaptation Academy

A Design Charrette

A living shoreline design charrette was held on September 15, 2016 at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, CT. This charrette was the culmination of a three part living shoreline workshop series as part of the Climate Adaptation Academy. The first two workshops provided information on living shorelines, what they are (with speakers from national and state agencies), how the concept might be utilized in Connecticut, examples and issues, such as ice during the winter months.

At the charrette, participants were assigned to one of nine teams with expertise spread out among the teams. Teams were tasked with developing a living shoreline design for either a tidal wetland, beach/dune or bluff habitat with one of three upland scenarios: a bath house, a residential structure or a critical municipal facility. Teams developed creative and innovative designs. These designs were then presented and feedback provided by a panel. The panel consisted of officials from federal, state and municipal agencies who gave feedback on what worked or did not work from a regulatory perspective.

Feedback from participants indicates that there is still much to learn about living shorelines. Participants were surprised when simple erosion control concepts that were put forward as part of designs were deemed not to be living shorelines because they did not meet the criteria for habitat or ecological function enhancement.

Future Needs:
• Further refine the definition of a living shoreline in Connecticut, particularly a hybrid structure.
• Provide a regulatory flowchart showing how a permit application would move through municipal, state and federal agencies.
• Develop design guidelines for Connecticut similar to that developed for New Jersey by Miller et al. 2015)
• Funding for living shorelines installation and monitoring. Public/private partnerships; Can insurance companies collaborate to help cover costs?
• Extensive outreach and education needed for private property owners on living shorelines approaches.

Partners: CTSG, UConn CLEAR, UConn Dept of Extension, NOAA, CT DEEP, GEI Consultants