The Contractor’s Toolbox: Living Shorelines


The Virginia General Assembly has directed that living shorelines are now the preferred method for treating shoreline erosion. It is more important than ever that contractors, property owners and regulators all communicate in a “common language” and stay up-to-date on the shoreline management alternatives that sustain our seafood industry and coastal lifestyle. The Contractor’s Toolbox” is an on-going initiative of Lancaster County, Friends of the Rappahannock and The Wetlands Project. The goals of this initiative are to:

  • Inform the general population about the economic and environmental value of wetlands.
  • Introduce new shoreline management concepts and treatment alternatives.
  • Provide current information on changes to Virginia regulations related to wetlands and coastal areas.

How to Use the “Contractor’s Toolbox”

A selection of available resources from a variety of organizations is included in the six sections of the Contractor’s Toolbox:

  1. Shoreline Evaluation and Decision Tree
  2. Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and Permitting Information
  3. Living Shorelines
  4. Shoreline Plant Selection
  5. County Wetlands Information
  6. Additional Resources

The manual is designed for use when preparing for and during on-site shoreline evaluations. Some of the documents are especially suitable for shoreline management and project proposal discussion with property owners. Essential mapping tools and downloadable sources for most of the toolbox documents are listed in the “Contractor’s Toolbox of On-line Resources” in section 6. Additional county-specific permitting information will be added to Section 2 as it becomes available.

Suggestions for additions and modifications to the Contractor’s Toolbox content are encouraged and welcome. Please email the source information and attach a PDF or an on-line link to a document or resource. The information will be distributed to the contact list of marine contractors and interested stakeholders. Point of contact will be Kate Daniel: [email protected].

Section 1:  Shoreline Evaluation and Decision Tree

Section 2:  Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and Permits

Section 3: Living Shorelines (new section added 4/19/2017)

Section 4:  Plant Selection Guides – click on guide or organization website for additional information

Section 5: County Wetlands Information (Mapping courtesy of Northern Neck Planning District Commission):

NOAA County Coastal County Snapshots for “Flood Exposure”, “Ocean Jobs” and “Wetland Benefits”: Click on NOAA website, select state and county, select “snapshot”. Information is available for most US coastal counties.

Section 6:  Resources

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