Living Shorelines

What is a living shoreline?

Living shorelines are an effective, more natural, option for stabilizing the shoreline as opposed to walls, known as bulkheads, and rocky barriers, known as rip rap. Encouraging the growth of oysters and marsh grass, living shorelines use native vegetation and/or the installation of green infrastructure, such as oyster shell. When you construct a living shoreline, you are protecting your shoreline from erosion and also promoting a land to water connection.

But I don’t live on the water?

Even if you don’t live on the waterfront, you shore can benefit from a living shoreline. Do you eat seafood? Do you use our waterways for recreation? Are you a coastal bird enthusiast? Are you concerned about the flooding from increased storms and sea level rise? Do you like clean water? Are resilient coastlines something you support? Then living shorelines benefit you too!

What else?

Earlier this year, it became easier than ever to naturally protect shorelines using oysters and salt marsh grass. Thanks to a new South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control permit, residential and commercial property owners can build living shorelines on their own properties.

Check it out: We partnered on the creation of this living shorelines website designed to be a first-stop resource for those in South Carolina interested in living shorelines.

In action: Recycled shells provide home for new oysters along SC coast while reducing erosion.

Getting involved: Add your name to the list if you are interested in receiving the Conservation League’s communications related to marine resources.

Learn more: Review materials about alternative materials for erosion control.

Staff Contact

Rachel Hawes · [email protected] · 843.972.3484

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