For the purposes of this study, four categories of commonly used techniques to address erosion are identified: (1) Manage land use, (2) Vegetate, (3) Harden, and (4) Trap and/or add sand. Each of these techniques has one or more specific type of technology or measure that can be used to meet its objective, discussed in the following sections. It is common for some combination of techniques to be applied at any particular location of a sheltered coast. For instance, if a decision is made to vegetate a site with a fringe marsh on a low to moderate wave energy coast, a combination of marsh plantings (vegetate) on sand fill (add sand), protected by a stone sill (harden) might be installed as a system. Although these techniques are discussed as separate topics, it is common for multiple methods to be used in combination.

Manage Land Use

Decisions on land use typically occur at the state and local levels. Land use measures have both spatial and temporal components. Spatial scales vary at the federal, state, regional and local levels. Historically, land use controls have been applied at the level of an individual lot without consideration of the system-level (e.g., littoral cell) processes that drive erosion. The temporal component derives from the requirement that the effectiveness of these measures depends on the consistency and longevity with which they are applied.

Management of land use varies greatly, from passive to active approaches. Measures to manage land use may be outlined as follows:

  1. planning

    • managed retreat

    • community visioning

    • green planning

    • education

    • technical assistance

    • restoration and reclamation

  1. regulation

    • buffers

    • setbacks

    • down-zoning

    • construction standards

    • perpendicular access

    • institutional reorganization and coordination

  1. incentives

    • current use tax

    • transfer of development rights

    • conservation easements

    • rolling easements



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