Battered by tides, ice, storms, and human activity, nearly half of New York state's Hudson River shoreline has been “armored up” by structures such as steel bulkheads or rock revetments. While these structures can protect vulnerable infrastructure in high-energy situations, they also disrupt surrounding habitats. In response, the Hudson River Reserve launched the Sustainable Shorelines project, a long-term, collaborative initiative that is advancing understanding of the engineering, economic, and ecological tradeoffs of using different shoreline management options today—and as the climate shifts and sea levels rise—for generations to come.
About this article
This article, published in Aquatic Sciences in 2012, reports on the project team's efforts to document the biodiversity supported by six common shore zone types: three natural and three engineered. The authors found that engineered shore zones, especially cribbing and bulkheads, tended to have less desirable biodiversity characteristics than "natural" shore zones.
Strayer, D.L., Findlay, S.E.G., Miller, D., Malcom, H.M., Fischer, D.T., Coote, T., 2012. Biodiversity in Hudson River shore zones: influence of shoreline type and physical structure. Aquat Sci 74, 597–610. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00027-012-0252-9