The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Delaware Living Shorelines Committee, has completed a living shoreline project to help stabilize a portion of the Lewes Canal shoreline while restoring wetland habitat and increasing populations of mussels and oysters.
The new portion of shoreline was constructed using natural materials including coconut fiber coir logs and recycled oyster shell bags placed along the intertidal zone to reduce wave energy and allow wetland habitat restoration. The design includes breaks in the structure to allow tidal exchange, fish and fauna passage, and runoff outflow. The project will be monitored for several years to document the changes in the wetlands, and increases in the populations of mussels and oysters.
“Living shorelines are an innovative and environmentally friendly alternative that uses natural materials such as oyster shells,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This project is a good example of the benefits living shorelines provide: pollutant filtering to improve water quality; habitat for animals, fish and birds; and protection from erosion and of infrastructure; as well as aesthetics for property owners.”
For more information, visit DNREC’s website.