Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project

The Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project developed science-based recommendations for shore zone management along the Hudson River in eastern New York. The Project and recommendations are focused on natural and nature-based shoreline protection against storm surge and sea level rise. Landowners, land managers, engineers, and other decision-makers can find guidance on permitting, natural shoreline engineering and design, and best management practices to meet adaptation needs (eg. flooding and erosion protection) while enhancing ecological functions of the Hudson’s shorelines. Although focused on the Hudson River, the information provided can be helpful for managing shorelines elsewhere.

This collaborative project brought together key stakeholders, decision-makers, and experts to develop preferred alternatives to hard-engineered shoreline protection. The resulting website, webinar series and handbook offer extensive information on shoreline ecology and the benefits, design, and performance of nature-based or “ecologically-engineered” shoreline protection. Case studies representing best management practices that improve resilience and protect the shoreline ecology of the Hudson River are presented on the Sustainable Shoreline Demonstration Site Network page. Case study reports include background, design, planning, and implementation information as well as project cost and lessons learned.

The Project developed a Rapid Assessment Protocol Manual to assess the performance of nature-based shoreline techniques. The manual is accompanied by field data sheets as well as a factsheet and presentation for outreach. Additionally, a report is provided on the forensic engineering analysis of the performance of hard-engineered and nature-based shoreline stabilization techniques at six sites along the Hudson following three historic storms.

Resources for additional information on living shorelines from throughout the country are listed and spatial information is provided including links to GIS maps and data related to flooding, ice climatology, physical forces, and a wake study, as well as engineering and natural resources spatial data and information.

The Project was funded by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative.


Publication Date: 2019

Related Organizations:

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Best practice
  • Case study
  • Education/training materials

States Affected:


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