Grasses grow fruitfully and concrete reef balls are situated some feet away from the shore at Stratford Point, both part of the shoreline restoration efforts at Stratford Point in Stratford, CT.
Living Shoreline Project, Stratford Point. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Mattei/Sacred Heart University.

What is a living shoreline project? National Geographic defines it as a “way of managing coastal areas to protect, restore, or enhance the habitat” that can be “done through the placement of plants, stone, sand, and other materials.” In the case of the Stratford Point living shoreline project in Stratford, CT, concrete reef balls were placed in the water near the shoreline to mimic a natural reef. The reef balls have acted to reduce wave energy, which has allowed for sediment to increase and to help to prevent erosion. This in turn has helped efforts to reestablish salt marsh grasses, a beach dune, and other coastal habitats. The project, which is managed by Sacred Heart University, received early funding from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund. It was recently given a 2020 Best Restored Shore Award by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.

Story map Highlights Connecticut living shoreline projects

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has a Story Map where you can learn more about Stratford Point and five other living shoreline projects.

The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation website also has a report detailing the Stratford Point Living Shoreline project.

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