Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)

Publication Date



With approximately 85 percent of the Chesapeake Bay shoreline privately owned, a critical need exists to increase awareness of erosion potential and the choices available for shore stabilization that maintains ecosystem services at the land-water interface. The National Academy of Science recently published a report that spotlights the necessity of developing a shoreline management framework (NRC, 2007). It suggests that improving awareness of the choices available for erosion control, considering cumulative consequences of erosion mitigation approaches, and improving shoreline management planning are key elements to minimizing adverse environmental impacts associated with mitigating shore erosion.
Actions taken by waterfront property owners to stabilize the shoreline can affect the health of the Bay as well as adjacent properties for decades. With these long-term implications, managers at the local level should have a more proactive role in how shorelines are managed. The shores of Lynnhaven River are fairly sheltered coasts (Figure 1-1). In addition, much of the shoreline has existing hardened shore protection. However, much of Lynnhaven River’s shoreline is suitable for a “Living Shoreline” approach to shore-line management. The Commonwealth of Virginia has adopted policy stating that Living Shorelines are the preferred alternative for erosion control along tidal waters in Virginia ( The policy defines a Living Shoreline as …”a shoreline management practice that provides erosion control and water quality benefits; protects, restores or enhances natural shoreline habitat; and
maintains coastal processes through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill, and other structural and organic materials.” The key to effective implementation of this policy at the local level is understanding what constitutes a Living Shoreline practice and where those practices are appropriate.This management plan and its use in zoning,planning, and permitting will provide the guidance necessary for landowners and local planners to understand the alternatives for erosion control and to make informed shore-line management decisions.
The recommended shoreline strategies can provide effective shore protection
but also have the added distinction of creating, preserving, and enhancing wetland,beach, and dune habitat. These habitats are essential to addressing the protection and restoration of water quality and natural resources within the Chesapeake Bay water-shed. The Lynnhaven River Shoreline Management Plan (LRSMP) is an educational and management reference for the watershed and its landholders.



Lynnhaven River, Virginia Beach, VA, Shoreline Management, GIS

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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This project was funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Department of Environ-mental Quality through Grant #NA11NOS4190122 of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended