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A Living Shoreline

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Schicke Point, on Matagorda Bay on the Texas Gulf Coast, has lost 30 acres of intertidal marsh to shoreline erosion over the past 25 years.

Fifty more acres — and a migratory songbird habitat — were at risk as well.To re-establish the marsh, Freese and Nichols’ coastal team designed a 1.3-mile “living shoreline.”

This segmented rock breakwater is designed to provide protection from erosion and enable waves to transport sediment behind the shoreline; as the sediment settles, the marsh expands. The project also provides a reef habitat for oysters, which attach to and strengthen the rock breakwater.

Young oysters were already colonizing the living shoreline three weeks after construction began.

See more innovative projects in our latest Innovation Report.

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