Non-Structural Shore Protection

Because of the many problems with flood and erosion control structures, there has been a shift in recent years toward non-structural shore stabilization techniques. Non-structural shore protection measures generally seek to enhance the natural ability of shorelines to absorb and dissipate storm energy without interfering with natural beach, dune, and bank processes.

Some non-structural shore protection techniques to consider include:

  • Renourishing beaches and dunes. See the NOAA’s State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs guidance (PDF, 352KB) for information on Alabama’s program and policies.
  • Stabilizing dunes with fences and vegetation. Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant offers guidance on shoreline stabilization policies for Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida with their publication Focus On: Living Shorelines (PDF, 620KB).
  • Protecting, nourishing, or constructing dunes.
  • Re-vegetating/stabilizing shorelines and/or riparian (river) corridors with native plants.
  • Creating or restoring wetlands. The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program offers a database search of various restoration projects done in Mississippi and Alabama.
  • Prohibiting or more stringently restricting the infill of wetlands.

* Your community needs only 500 points to qualify for reduced flood insurance premiums through the Community Rating System (CRS).For more information (including how to apply for the CRS program), see our Community Rating System (CRS) primer.

Notes from the folks at CRS:

“CRS credits programs that maintain measures that protect buildings from coastal flooding or erosion. These include dune and mangrove preservation, bluff stabilization, and beach nourishment programs.”