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New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning

Living Shorelines

As defined in New Jersey’s Coastal Zone Management Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.5, a living shoreline is “a shoreline management practice that addresses the loss of vegetated shorelines, beaches, and habitat in the littoral zone by providing for the protection, restoration or enhancement of these habitats”. As explained in the CZM Rules, this is accomplished through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand, or other structural or organic materials.

Why are Living Shorelines important in New Jersey? New Jersey has over 1,700 miles of ocean and other tidal water coastline. These coastlines are subject to erosion and sea level change and through that to loss of land, fresh water wetlands, salt marsh, habitat and critical species. When properly designed, living shorelines have been proven to be an effective response to these conditions and frequently more beneficial than hard structure responses, such as bulkheads.

The Office of Policy Implementation (OPI) is Land Use Management’s point of contact for all proposed living shorelines projects.


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Last Updated: March 2, 2020