The erosion management guidelines stress soft solutions for the East Coast bay
The Pleasant Bay Alliance of Harwich, Ma., released its Erosion Management Guidelines for Pleasant Bay. The 37-page document outlines best practices for towns and property owners to manager erosion and cope with rising sea levels without disrupting sediment flow.
According to local news source The Cape Cod, the document was completed with members of the alliance’s coastal workgroup, including conservation commissioners, conservation agents, state regulators and other coastal experts.
“One of the points that the guidelines stress is that any proposal for managing shoreline has to viewed in the context of the larger system, and how management actions in one location can reverberate in other parts of the system,” said Carole Ridley, the Pleasant Bay Alliance coordinator.
The management guidelines stress soft solutions and green infrastructure, as opposed to hard erosion protection through revetments and other measures. The soft solutions aim to preserve the natural sediment flow while protecting property.
“Those can help to sustain that natural flow that keeps the shoreline healthy, the habitat healthy, and also increases the long-term resilience of the shoreline against storm surges and sea level rise,” Ridley said.
The erosion control guidelines took several years to develop and drafts were reviewed with conservation commissions to receive feedback. The guidelines have been distributed to local conservation commissions and also are available online here.
“We wanted this document to be a resource that conservation commission members, people who go before commissions, and the consultants they hire can all rely on the document as a guide and a resource for evaluating options to deal with the erosion conditions of their particular location,” Ridley said.