Nature-Based Shoreline Workshops Given Top Marks

The Takeaway: An overwhelming majority of Lake Erie shoreline engineers, designers, and landowners surveyed intend to apply what they learned.

The Ohio Coastal Management Program and Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve teamed up to provide nature-based shoreline workshops to shoreline engineers, designers, landowners, and land managers. Surveys show that 100 percent of respondents have viewed the workshops positively, and approximately 95 percent report increased knowledge and skills plus an intention to apply what they learned.

Over the past several years, Ohio’s coastal program also has provided four grants to research and construct nature-based shorelines that will benefit nearshore areas and fish. Both the workshops and the grants were informed by a community of practice involving state agencies and academic institutions.

Ohio’s 312 miles of Lake Erie shoreline are hardened in many places, harming sand and plantings that provide important habitat and lessen storm-related damage. Another contributor to shoreline erosion is Lake Erie’s water level rise, which went from 571.85 feet above sea level between 1918 and 2015 to 573 feet above sea level in 2018. Bluffs in the lake’s east basin are particularly vulnerable. (2018)

Partners: Bowling Green State University, City of Sandusky, Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Program and Coastal Program, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Old Woman Creek Research Reserve, University of Toledo