Living Shoreline Glossary


A large rock barrier placed parallel to shore to dissipate wave energy and erosion. 

Dune restoration

Installing fencing to hold sand in place, which allows native plants to return. 

Invasive removal 

Disrupting plant and root systems of vegetation that is not native to the area (i.e. phragmites). This allows native vegetation to regain ground. 


A structure, usually made of rock, that protects a coastal area from the tide. In a living shoreline project, these have been used to protect vegetation. 

Marsh restoration

Removing invasive vegetation and replacing with native vegetation allows marshlands to return to their former function of protecting from floods. 

Reef ball

An artificial reef that mimics the look and function of real coral by dissipating wave energy and providing shelter for small marine organisms. 


A rock structure running parallel to shore, with marsh grasses behind it. 

Slope changes

A flatter slope allows for vegetation to grow better, so higher slopes are often flattened to accommodate this. 


Native marsh grasses and plants that provide a buffer between sea and land. 

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