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.
This series of case studies, written by the 2010 Collaborative Research project team, highlights eight ecologically-enhanced shoreline projects owned and designed by a variety of organizations. These case studies, which include information about designers, partners, project cost, planning and design considerations, and implementation, can be used to learn about real-world projects that have applied sustainable shoreline guidelines to manage erosion and balance other objectives.