Investigating Wave Energy and Living Shoreline Plants

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Investigating Wave Energy and Living Shoreline Plants

A 3-year-old living shoreline has lots of mature grasses that help stabilize the soil and create habitat for critters. ©Margaret Pizer/VASG

Natural disasters inflicting damage on coastal areas bring about the need to protect coasts in cost- and environmentally-friendly ways. One solution, living shorelines, is a method for stabilizing a shoreline with  plants or other natural materials as opposed to a hard structure like rock revetment, which can be costly. Additionally, living shorelines can provide a habitat for a variety of species, maintain water quality, and protect land from erosion. Yongqian Yang of Virginia Tech will research how vegetation along coastlines affects wave patterns and develop a model that will aid in the planning of living shorelines. Yang intends to share his findings and collaborate with Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) to reach end-users interested in living shorelines.

Fellow: Yongqian Yang (VT)
Advisor: Jennifer Irish (VT)
Outreach Mentor: Karen Duhring (VIMS)