Because of the many problems with flood and erosion control structures, there has been a shift in recent years toward non-structural shore stabilization techniques. Non-structural shore protection measures generally seek to enhance the natural ability of shorelines to absorb and dissipate storm energy without interfering with natural beach, dune, and bank processes.
Living Shoreline Program
For a general overview of many techniques, see NOAA’s Living Shoreline Implementation site.
Some additional non-structural shore protection techniques to consider include:
- Renourishing beaches and dunes. See the NOAA’s State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs guidance (PDF, 352KB) for information on Florida’s program and policies.
- Stabilizing dunes with fences and vegetation.
Protecting, nourishing, or constructing dunes.
- Re-vegetating/stabilizing shorelines and/or riparian (river) corridors with native plants.
- Prohibiting or more stringently restricting the infill of wetlands.
- See Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Living Shoreline website. You can also download a PDF about the program here
- For funding for related projects, contact the US Fish And Wildlife Service:
- Panama City Field Office (850) 769-0552
- Jacksonville Field Office (904) 232-2580
- South Florida Ecosystem Field Office – Vero Beach (562) 3909
- For a case-study of how wetlands have been used in the Florida panhandle, see Conserving Coastal Wetlands and Mitigation Hazards (note the menu of pages in the right sidebar), which discusses how the area uses wetlands to help protect its communities and promote biodiversity.
- Florida DEP has written Recommended Florida Native Beach and Dune Plants for Beachfront Properties and Dune Restoration (PDF).
- Florida DEP has guidance on the different types of sand fences and how to properly construct them (PDF).
- Be sure to avoid invasive species, which may create their own problems. To see if a plant is potentially invasive at LSU Sea Grant’s invasive species site.
- For information and guidance on dune protection and restoration, see the Texas General Land Office’s Dune Protection and Improvement Manual For the Texas Gulf Coast.
* Your community needs only 500 points to qualify for reduced flood insurance premiums through the Community Rating System (CRS).For more information (including how to apply for the CRS program), see our Community Rating System (CRS) primer.
Notes from the folks at CRS:
“CRS credits programs that maintain measures that protect buildings from coastal flooding or erosion. These include dune and mangrove preservation.”