To improve coral reef health on West Maui, Hawaii, the Coral Reef Alliance will construct a living shoreline “green infrastructure” multipurpose area to reduce pollution from severely degraded watersheds. A natural watershed made of native vegetation effectively filters storm water and absorbs chemicals and nutrients that can be detrimental to coral reefs. By reducing sediment pollution on the coral reef and building community-centric green infrastructure, the project will provide both environmental and community benefits.
To protect against sea level rise and coastal storms, this project by The Bay Foundation will enhance roughly three and a half acres of beach and coastal bluff habitat by restoring coastal bluff, sandy beach and near-shore eelgrass habitats. This project is vital to the preservation of natural ecosystems, as native flora has been almost completely eradicated across Los Angeles beaches. This habitat restoration will provide enhanced ecosystem services, including improved water quality, wildlife benefits, carbon sequestration, shoreline stabilization, and storm protection.
This initiative by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is part of a large living shorelines project by the California Coastal Conservancy at Giant Marsh on the Richmond shoreline in California’s San Francisco Bay. Rockweed will be transplanted to ameliorate heat stress in restored intertidal oyster populations. Rockweed transplantation, a process that has not yet been studied in San Francisco Bay, could prove critical to the success of oyster living shorelines projects under future climate change scenarios.
Zedler Marsh is one of the last surviving tidal wetlands in Los Angeles County. This 10-acre tidal wetland along the San Gabriel River in Long Beach, California, will be restored by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust by installing intertidal vegetation in order to protect the wetland marsh from future erosion, increase biodiversity, and improve water quality.
The Honda Marine Science Foundation is supporting three projects centered on living shorelines along the West Coast.
The San Francisco Bay project from Save the Bay is a regional effort that focuses on wetlands restoration, enhancement and maintenance in transition zones between the tidal marsh and the terrestrial environment.
The Sunlight Shores project works to increase the amount of living shoreline in the Northwest Straits region of the Puget Sound by removing manmade shoreline structures like cement and log piles and converting the areas back to natural shoreline.
Orange County Coastkeeper is leading the Upper Newport Bay project, where it concentrates on oyster and eelgrass restoration to stabilize local shorelines.