SHORELINE & REGENERATIVE STREAM CHANNEL
A NOAA-funded research study investigating the impacts of this project on near-shore benthic communities found that community compositions changed significantly following living shoreline construction, reflecting a trend toward higher density and biomass of large bivalves, indicating significant habitat improvement.
Before the Windy Hill Living Shoreline and Regenerative Stream Channel Project was brought to life, stormwater flowed untreated down a grassy, eroding slope directly into the Corsica River. Degraded bulkhead lined 1000 linear feet of shore. The weathered, dilapidated planks needed to be replaced, and the homeowners wanted to do something different to prevent erosion than a traditional, hardened shoreline.
The client's goal for this project was a new, cost-effective, ecologically friendly shoreline stabilization design that was sustainable and replicable. In place of 1,000 feet of failing bulkhead, Underwood & Associates constructed three headland marshes and attendant tombolos in tidewater to function as breakwaters and create shallow lagoons. Wave and littoral energy were re-directed, and sediment accretion continues to contribute to new beach strand development and the formation of a tidal marsh.
Two regenerative stream channels were integrated in the upland valleys to capture surface water runoff and convert it to springhead seeps that emerge at the tidal interface. The reconnection of these historic valleys resulted in the full integration of the tidewater interface with the terrestrial landscape, allowing wave energy associated with large storms and high tides to break out onto the landscape in a non-erosive manner. The success of this project let to it becoming the model for future DNR Living Shoreline projects.