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Shoreline Protection and Enhancement

Waterway Improvement Program
Phone: 410-887-2904
Fax: 410-887-4804

Baltimore County has a long-standing program for the implementation of shoreline enhancement projects on public property. Shoreline projects are identified through comprehensive watershed planning efforts. Shoreline enhancement projects protect and restore eroded shorelines to improve water quality and habitats. Project components can include breakwaters, sills, groins, stone revetments and tidal and non-tidal plantings.

Shoreline Erosion

Shoreline enhancement projects aim to restore erode shorelines. Causes of shoreline erosion include:

  • Land use changes and disturbances
  • Boat wake and wave energy
  • Weather and climate events
  • Lack of vegetative buffer along shoreline

Impacts of shoreline erosion include:

  • Loss of land and property
  • Loss of trees, aquatic vegetation and habitat
  • Sediment and nutrient loading
  • Impaired water quality                                                                             

Living Shoreline Approach

Watersedge Park shoreline
This is Watersedge Park's shoreline before
construction of a shoreline stabilization project.

Living shoreline projects protect shorelines from erosion while incorporating non-structural project design elements that improve water quality, habitat and ecological function. A typical hybrid living shoreline project will consist of low profile stone sills or breakwaters engineered to dissipate wave energy. The area landward of the structures is turned into a shallow wetland area with sand fill planted with native wetland plant species that provide valuable ecosystem benefits.

Program Highlights

Capital Projects and Operations has completed numerous shoreline enhancement projects on County owned property since 1988. Over five miles of shoreline have been protected and enhanced. Significant acres of wetland have been created resulting in a reduction in sediment and nutrients entering and impairing local waterways.

Revised May 27, 2016         


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