West and Rhode Riverkeeper

We work with our community to enforce environmental law, to
promote restoration, and to advocate for better environmental policy.
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West and Rhode Riverkeeper Blog

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Apr 02
2015

Construction of Living Shoreline at YMCA Camp Letts Begins

Posted by: Joe

Tagged in: Untagged 

LettslsAfter a year of grant writing, design work, and permitting the living shoreline at YMCA Camp Letts is finally going to construction!  This project will protect the camp's southern most point, which contains a number of their cabins and their main field.  Once all the work is completed the currently eroding shoreline will become 960 linear feet of living shoreline creating over 16,000 square feet of newly created tidal marsh.  The living shoreline will address the points that eroding most rapidly and increase the stability of the 1200 feet of waterfront in that area.

Living shorelines serve as a more natural way to stop eroding banks while also providing habitat for marsh dwelling birds, fish, and crabs.  Most living shorelines consist of building several large stone breakwaters, backfilling with sand and planting native marsh grasses and shrubs in the newly placed sand.  The stone breakwaters break up initial wave energy and then the marsh grasses and gradual grade of the sand disipate the remaining energy.  The shoreline at YMCA Camp Letts is being built in a very cost effective way that takes into account the direction of waves to minimize the amount of stone (the expensive component) and maximizes the amount of sand and marsh that is created.  Other materials such as coir logs and oyster shells can be used to build living shorelines but they were not a suitable option for the amount of wave energy at this site.

Construction should be completed by mid to late May.  The marsh grasses and additional trees to increase the forested buffer along the shore will be planted by students from a local middle school.  The students will also plant underwater grasses (SAV) that they've been growing in their classroom along the newly created shoreline.

This project is made possible thanks to grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

Like us on Facebook to follow the construction of the shoreline.  Feel free to contact Restoration Coordinator, Joe Ports, to discuss this project and living shorelines to protect your property at joe@westrhoderiverkeeper.org or 410-867-7171.