Building a Stronger Coast
Living Shorelines: A Natural Way to Heal the Coast

A partner-funded “oyster castle,

April 30, 2015 - "Living shorelines," a natural shoreline protection approach, are highlighted in a recent article featured in Fish and Wildlife News and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Open Spaces blog. Brittany Bowker, a former Hurricane Sandy youth story corps intern, notes four federally funded Hurricane Sandy resilience projects in New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia that collectively plan to install more than 30,000 feet of living shorelines within the next two years. These natural structures will help create habitat for aquatic species and other wildlife, as well as protect shorelines, buildings and vulnerable coastal communities from storm surge and flooding.

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View photos of Service-led living shoreline project sites


A partner-funded “oyster castle," an example of a living shoreline technique using blocks made of shell, limestone and concrete, is being monitored for effectiveness at Gandy’s Beach on the New Jersey shore. Credit: Katie Conrad/USFWS


Science Women Building a Strong Coast

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fishery biologist Julie Devers works on Hurricane Sandy funded Centreville and Bloede Dam removal work in Maryland, which will help reduce flooding from future storms and increase fish passage.

April 20, 2015 - Meet the science women who are working to strengthen natural defenses along the Atlantic Coast as part of the federal Hurricane Sandy recovery program. With their help, communities and wildlife are being protected against future storms, sea-level rise and other impacts predicted with a changing climate. This is part of the #ScienceWoman campaign from Women’s History Month, honoring women across the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and female conservationists who are making history in the agency and in conservation.

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View the #ScienceWoman blog series


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fishery biologist Julie Devers works on Hurricane Sandy funded Centreville and Bloede Dam removal work in Maryland, which will help reduce flooding from future storms and increase fish passage. Credit: USFWS


Volunteers gather to help reduce beach erosion on New Jersey’s Delaware Bay

A completed oyster reef and whelk shell bar constructed by volunteers and veterans on last weekend on South Reeds Beach along New Jersey’s Delaware Bay.

April 10, 2015 - Last weekend on the Delaware Bay, biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in New Jersey helped build a "living shoreline" with more than 130 volunteers and veterans. A whelk shell bar and 200-foot oyster reef is now installed on Reeds Beach to test which design is more effective to reduce beach erosion and provide calmer waters for spawning horseshoe crabs, whose eggs provide a rich food source for migrating birds such as the federally listed red knot. The Service along with partners will monitor and apply living shoreline techniques to future projects in order create a more resilient Delaware Bayshore. These projects are funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through their Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grants Program, and are developed in partnership with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, American Littoral Society and New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

View photos and video on the Oyster Reef Building Shell-a-bration



A completed oyster reef and whelk shell bar constructed by volunteers and veterans last weekend on South Reeds Beach along New Jersey’s Delaware Bay. Credit: Beth Freiday/USFWS


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Last updated: May 1, 2015