Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Special Report in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SRAMSOE) No. 417.


The Mathews County Shoreline Management Plan (Plan) is the result of cooperative work between Mathews County and the Shoreline Studies Program and the Center for Resource Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. The work was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through their Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program. The goal of the project is to create an easy-to-use Plan that landowners in Mathews County can use to initiate shore management strategies that stabilize their shoreline in an environmentally friendly way.

This report has several sections. General coastal zone management considerations and existing conditions along the Mathews County shoreline are discussed. The overall Mathews shoreline was divided into three reaches: Reach 1, Piankatank River, Hills Bay, and Queens Creek; Reach 2, New Point Comfort to Gwynn’s Island including Milford Haven; and Reach 3, Mobjack Bay, East River, and North River. Each reach is discussed in terms of specific shore conditions as well as design considerations and shore stabilization recommendations. Reach 2 is slightly different from the other reaches in that it includes the high energy Chesapeake Bay shoreline. For this section of shore, recommendations were made at both the lot-by-lot level as well as for the larger subreach. Specific areas where the larger, subreach shoreline strategies were recommended are: Gwynn’s Island, Rigby Island/Festival Beach/Bethel Beach, New Point Campground/Sandy Bank, Chesapeake and Bavon Beaches. The maps portraying the recommended strategies are in Appendix B. The index map will locate the appropriate plate for the shoreline section of interest. A table listing the characteristics of each site and the recommended strategies follow each map.

An integral part of the strategy recommendation is the accompanying typical cross-section. These cross-sections provide a starting point for consultants and/or designers and an approximate estimated cost per linear foot for the property owner. The table below lists the strategies recommended for each reach and their approximate cost. Marsh management cost is often tree trimming and planting on existing bottom. An approximate cost is provided for breakwaters and beach fill; however, these types of projects can be built in phases and so costs are difficult to accurately determine per linear foot. Data developed for this report is discussed in the appendices. Appendix A shows the rate of change along Mathews shoreline between 1937 and 2007. Appendix C describes, in detail, Mathews’ geologic history and it’s implication in sea level rise. Appendix D shows marine resource data available through existing databases, and Appendix E (large file) maps orthorectified aerial photo mosaics and digitized shorelines for 1937, 1953, 1968, 1978, 1994, 2002, and 2007.


Prepared for Mathews County and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation



Shore protection -- Virginia -- Mathews County; Shorelines -- Virginia -- Mathews County; Coastal zone management -- Virginia -- Mathews County

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This project was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through grant number 2007-81-014