Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1–11

Wave attenuation experiments over living shorelines over time: a wave tank study to assess recreational boating pressures

  • Jennifer E. Manis
  • Stephanie K. Garvis
  • Steven M. Jachec
  • Linda J. Walters
Article

Abstract

With sea level rise, erosion, and human disturbances affecting coastal areas, strategies to protect and stabilize existing shorelines are needed. One popular solution to stabilize while conserving intertidal habitat is the use of “living shoreline” techniques which are designed to mimic natural shoreline communities by using native plants and animals. However, little information is available on the success of living shoreline stabilization. This project evaluated the wave energy attenuation associated with living shorelines that contained Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) and/or Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) in a wave tank. Four living shoreline techniques were assessed, including a control (sediment only), oysters alone, cordgrass alone, and a combination of oysters plus cordgrass. Time since deployment (newly deployed, one-year after deployment) was also assessed to see how wave energy attenuation changed with natural oyster recruitment and plant growth. Wave energy was calculated for each newly deployed and one-year old shoreline stabilization treatment using capacitance wave gauges and generated waves that were representative of boat wakes in Mosquito Lagoon, a shallow-water estuary in Florida. All one-year old treatments attenuated significantly more energy than newly-deployed treatments. The combination of one-year old S. alterniflora plus live C. virginica was the most effective as this treatment reduced 67 % of the wave energy created by a single recreational boat wake, compared to bare sediment. Natural resource managers and landowners facing shoreline erosion issues can use this information to create effective stabilization protocols that preserve shorelines while conserving native intertidal habitats.

Keywords

Wave tank Shoreline erosion Soft stabilization Spartina alterniflora Crassostrea virginica Wave attenuation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer E. Manis
    • 1
    • 3
  • Stephanie K. Garvis
    • 1
  • Steven M. Jachec
    • 2
  • Linda J. Walters
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Central Florida (UCF)OrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Department of EngineeringFlorida Institute of Technology (FIT)MelbourneUSA
  3. 3.Florida Park Service (FPS)OspreyUSA

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