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Assessing Ecological and Physical Performance of Sustainable Shoreline Structures

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From 2010 to 2018, the Science Collaborative supported several phases of the Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project, which engages a regional research team to quantify the ecological functions and physical stresses on the full range of Hudson River shorelines. This research is the basis for the development of information and tools needed by regulators, engineers, and resource managers to identify the best settings and approaches for sustainable shoreline protection in the Hudson River Estuary. The work has included the establishment of a distributed demonstration network of seven sites, with varying modes of sustainable shoreline construction, along the Hudson.

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This 2016-2018 project expanded that effort by working closely with regulators, engineers, and land managers to 1) develop and field-validate a rapid assessment protocol manual for physical and ecological functions of ecologically enhanced shorelines and 2) train local land managers in the protocols. The project helped to solidify confidence in the suitability of novel shoreline techniques in the Hudson River Estuary and has enabled local managers to track performance into the future. This project overview describes the project approach, end users, products, and benefits.