Living Shoreline: Using Natural and Artificial Breakwaters in Shoreline Restoration and Conservation
Project Leader: Dr. Just Cebrian
Funding Agencies: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy
The Living Shoreline Project is a multi-faceted venture by multiple laboratories and agencies associated with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab whose goal is to implement natural and artificial wave attenuating devices and monitor their effects on the coastal environment. These "breakwaters" vary from the construction and deployment of solid concrete structures to the use of natural oyster shell to build reefs. These breakwaters do more than lessen wave action and slow erosion. The structures are also an integral piece of the coastal ecosystem by providing habitat to a wide variety of marine life. The role of the Ecosystems Lab is to monitor nutrient flow across the terrestrial/coastal interface, density and biomass of submerged aquatic and marsh vegetation, utilization of the marsh by motile fauna, and community structure of marsh microinvertebrates. Other Labs at DISL will be monitoring water quality, oyster settlement and density, and fisheries.