Living Shoreline Questions and Answers

Living shorelines are a method of shoreline stabilization and protection for wetlands built using natural materials and native plants. It’s a new way of managing shorelines; below are some of the often-asked questions about living shorelines and answers you can use.

Living Shorelines Training

Are you a contractor, engineer, consultant or are just plain interested in learning more about living shorelines? We’ll list conferences and courses for you on this page when they are scheduled.

How much does it cost?

Due to the wide variety of conditions at each potential living shoreline site, costs vary from site to site. The costs listed below are for materials used, per linear foot. They do not include expenses related to labor, surveys, field studies, modeling, design, permitting or special equipment.

  • Low Energy (Non-structural: Biologs and Vegetation): $50 to $100
  • Medium Energy (Hybrid: Segmented sills, jetties, or groins with natural beach shoreline and/or marsh plantings): $150 to $500
  • High Energy (Structural: Offshore breakwater): $500 to $1,200

Information provided by Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Living Shorelines Brochure.

Are living shorelines maintenance free?

No, some maintenance is required to keep living shorelines functioning properly. Some of the maintenance activities may include: removing debris and dead plants that may accumulate, identifying and removing invasive species, installing geese exclosures, and repairing damage from severe storms or ice.

Do I need permits for a living shoreline project?

Yes, you do. Altering shorelines has the potential to impact the environment and/or adjacent property owners. The permitting process is required by law and is designed to protect you and the environment.

You will need a Statewide Activity Approval (SAA) for Shoreline Stabilization Projects form to initiate the approval process. For more information about the permit process, please contact the Wetlands and Subaquous Lands Section.

Where can I see a living shoreline project?

You can view existing projects and their locations by visiting or by clicking the links below to see more detailed information in the flyers.

I am interested in learning more about living shorelines, what do I do?

There are multiple organizations that hold training opportunities for contractors, consultants, engineers and researchers. See the box above for upcoming trainings. If you have a specific question please email Alison Rogerson or call 302-739-9939.

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