January 03, 2019

Top 3 Living Shoreline Solutions

A living shoreline is made of mostly native, water loving plants that feature deep roots running into the earth. The benefits of establishing a living shoreline are plentiful, especially for marine contractors working to restore damaged sections of the coast. The shoreline landscaping process includes the following three advantages.

1. Protects Against Erosion

When a large body of water continually crashes against the shoreline, it gradually erodes away the soil which leads to loss of land fertility, increased pollution and sedimentation in rivers, clogged waterways, wildlife deterioration and flooding. Often, erosion goes undetected because of its slow-moving progression. In order to implement an effective defense system, a living shoreline is an effective choice. By planting native vegetation, such as marsh grass, jute, coconut husk fiber and wood-fiber blankets along the shore, their strong roots trap soil in place without disrupting its vegetative properties. The bank then becomes stabilized and can safely absorb wave energy without becoming eroded.

2. Provides a Safe Aquatic Habitat
Living shorelines also supply a protective and healthy habitat for turtles, fish and other wildlife that need the shoreline to survive. Having native plant life along waterways provides shelter, food and safe travel corridors. Plus, the shade provided by the vegetation can significantly reduce water temperatures, creating a better environment for many fish species.

3. Safeguards Water Quality
There are many pollutants that reside within surface water runoff, such as fertilizers, pesticides, sediments, road salt, vehicle fluids and more. Over time, this can lead to excessive weed growth, loss of fish, contaminated water sources and loss of recreational opportunities like swimming and boating. Fortunately, the strong vegetation within natural shorelines helps to reduce all harmful pollutants by working as a buffer to trap sediments and absorb contaminants. It increases infiltration by allowing only healthy forms of water to pass through.

The Contractor Security Solution

As marine contractors work on projects such as the construction of a living shoreline, there are a number of risks that can arise. Working near water can often result in slips and falls, as powerful waves or longshore currents could end up sweeping employees off their feet. If unexpected adverse weather occurs, the chance of danger increases even more. Beyond bodily injury, there is also the risk of damage to heavy-duty equipment and property. Having the right coverage is important and ProSight Specialty Insurance is unique in that we offer marine contractors an all-lines approach with a wide range of solutions tailored specifically to their needs. Rather than working with multiple companies to secure necessary coverages, contractors have the convenience of working with just one – ProSight handles everything.

Peter DiLalla, Marine Underwriter

Image credit Cape Gazette