The Great Bay Living Shoreline Project aims to create new living shoreline projects in the Great Bay Estuary of New Hampshire that protect salt marsh habitat and coastal communities from erosion, sea level rise, and flooding.

Science tells us that traditional, grey shoreline stabilization techniques like “rip rap” rock walls are harmful to natural ecosystems, and in some cases, are more prone to failure than more natural shorelines during flood events. We also know that sea level rise is making shoreline erosion worse in the Great Bay Estuary, causing stress on our valuable salt marsh habitats as well as public and private land. 

What is a living shoreline?

A living shoreline is a management practice that provides erosion control benefits; protects, restores or enhances natural shoreline habitat; and maintains coastal processes through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill and other structural organic materials.

what will the project accomplish?

Between January 2021 through May 2022, the Project team will work with Great Bay community stakeholders to identify four new living shoreline project sites, develop conceptual designs for the chosen sites, provide practical living shoreline design learning opportunities for professionals, and share recommendations for future living shoreline projects in the Great Bay Estuary.

who is involved?

The Project is supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (funding partner), the Town of Durham, the NHDES Coastal Program, the University of New Hampshire, the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Great Bay Stewards, and the Strafford Regional Planning Commission. The project will engage municipal, private, and professional stakeholders.



Aidan Barry
Coastal Management Specialist
Coastal Program
NH Department of Environmental Services
Aidan.T.Barry at
(603) 559-9189