Creating a Living Shoreline in Maryland

Creating a Living Shoreline in Maryland

Erosion control can be an issue some waterfront homeowners face. A living shoreline can help!

Living on the Maryland shoreline comes with indescribably beautiful views that only this state can offer, besides a home that suits one’s preferences. Like with any property, though, a homebuyer must be ready to take on the responsibility of maintaining the land. If you are in the market for a Maryland waterfront home and expect to have riparian rights, creating a living shoreline might be worth considering. 

What Is a Living Shoreline?

A living shoreline has had numerous definitions due to the various ways of creating it. However, to simplify matters, the Department of Natural Resources defined it as “the result of applying erosion control measures that include a suite of techniques which can be used to minimize coastal erosion and maintain coastal process.” These techniques include using different devices such as fiber coir logs, breakwaters, sills, groins, sand, natural materials, and marsh plantings, with the aim of creating, restoring, enhancing, or protecting natural shoreline habitats.

Benefits of a Living Shoreline

Do living shorelines provide a significant advantage over traditional erosion control means? Absolutely. The many benefits of living shorelines over traditional structures include the following:

  • Decreased nutrient runoff
  • Native habitat protection, enhancement, and restoration 
  • Maintenance of natural sand and nutrient process
  • Maintenance of shoreline dynamics
  • Absorption of wave energy
  • Provision of shallow water habitats
  • Natural-looking shoreline
  • Improved water quality
  • Shoreline access for animals & recreation
  • Successful erosion prevention

Best Plants to Use

A main strategy for creating a living shoreline in Maryland is to use Maryland native species. Trees, shrubs, grasses, and other plants that grow naturally here are most suited to Maryland’s weather conditions, and thus require less maintenance. 

One can determine which native plants would be best by asking, 1) is the water fresh or brackish? 2) is the land’s slope gradual or steep? and 3) does the area have full sun or partial shade? The shoreline should have a healthy variety of shrubs, trees, and grasses, at least. It is best to plant during mid to late summer so the roots have time to establish themselves.

Laws Regarding Living Shorelines

Living shorelines have been a standard erosion control method in Maryland since 2008, but one should be aware of the guidelines that one must follow for their installation. Installing one of these is considered a home improvement project; the landscaper you work with for the property should be fully aware of the shoreline and critical area regulations.


At Shore-Line Construction, we know that your home is a reflection of you. That’s why we strive to make each home we build as beautiful as the family who will live there. We work with each of our clients to design a home that fits their needs. The end result is a durable, energy-efficient custom home that the family will enjoy for generations to come. Shore-Line Construction has been serving our customers for over 25 years, and we look forward to the opportunity to help you!

If you’re interested in learning more about what Shore-Line Construction can do for you, check out our website or give us a call at 410-574-6623. Keep up with all of the latest news by following our blog and social media pages on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Houzz!

This entry was posted on Monday, April 12th, 2021 at 7:54 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.