Living Shorelines workshop provides new ideas for coastal protection

Living Shorelines_May2014

LaDon Swann, Director of the MS-AL Sea Grant Consortium, welcomes participants to the workshop.

On May 29, 2014, the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) partnered with MS-AL Sea Grant, NOAA Coastal Services Center and Weeks Bay NERR to host a workshop, “Living Shorelines for Coastal Protection in Alabama and Mississippi” for contractors, homeowners, agency staff, nonprofits, and researchers.

More than 80 participants attended the workshop which kicked off with a morning vendor fair to share products that can be used in living shorelines. Presentations focused on living shoreline success stories, meeting the needs of homeowners, liability concerns for contractors, living shoreline permitting, and outreach including homeowner handbooks and contractor technical bulletins. The full agenda and presentations are below.

In the afternoon, participants broke out into smaller groups to discuss some of the challenges and barriers that are preventing the use of living shorelines and identify needs that could help overcome those barriers. The results from these discussions will be used over the next two years to create technical bulletins and host workshops using Gulf of Mexico Alliance grant funding that the Grand Bay and Weeks Bay NERRs received in 2014.

Living Shorelines for Coastal Protection in Alabama and Mississippi- Agenda

8:30 a.m.

Vendor Fair and Coffee

9:00 a.m.


9:15 a.m.

Welcome, Objectives, and IntroductionsStatus of Living Shoreline Research: Where are we now?

  • Bret Webb, Univ. of South Alabama (PDF)
  • Stephen Jones, Geological Survey of Alabama (PDF)
  • Chris Boyd, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant (PDF)

10:30 a.m.


10:45 a.m.

Living Shoreline Success Stories: Project Showcase

  • Carl Ferraro, Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (PDF)
  • Ali Leggett, Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources (PDF)
  • Zach Schang, Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection (PDF)

Meeting the Needs of Homeowners

  • Dottie Lawley, Mon Louis Island, AL
  • Victor Stevens, Florida

12:15 p.m.

Lunch – Networking Vendor Fair

1:15 p.m.

Liability Concerns for Contractors

  • Niki Pace, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program (PDF)

Permitting Living Shorelines

  • Sandy Gibson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District (PDF)
  • Willa Brantley, Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources (PDF)
  • Carl Ferraro, Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (PDF)

Homeowner Handbooks & Contractor Technical Bulletins

  • Willa Brantley, Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources (PDF)
  • Tom Herder, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (PDF)
  • Mike Shelton, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (PDF)

Next Steps Discussion Session

3:45 p.m.


4:00 p.m.







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