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living-shorelines

Living Shoreline Permitting Do’s and Don’ts

Written on: March 22nd, 2021 in Living Shorelines

By Kenny Smith, Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program (WMAP)

When discussing living shorelines, you might not think the hardest and most unclear part would be getting your permits to accomplish this work. The permit process is sometimes difficult to navigate and can be confusing to someone not immersed in the environmental field. We decided to reach out to DNREC’s Wetlands and Subaqueous Land Section (WSLS) to answer some questions to clear up the confusion and better understand the process. 

  • Do I need a permit to install a living shoreline?
    • Yes! You will need a permit anytime your project is located in or adjacent to waterbodies.
    • If your project is in a tidal waterbody, the state jurisdiction is channelward of the mean high-water line and federal jurisdiction is channelward of the high tide line.
    • If your project is in a non-tidal waterbody, you will need a jurisdictional determination of state jurisdiction, or hire an environmental consultant for a federal jurisdiction.
  • Who is the permitting agency I will need to contact with questions or my permit?
    • Federal Jurisdiction:
      • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE): 215-656-6728
    • State Jurisdiction:
      • DNREC, Wetlands Subaqueous Lands Section (WSLS): 302-739-9943
      • DNREC, Delaware Coastal Programs: 302-739-9283
  • Do I need to be a licensed marine contractor to install a living shoreline?
    • No, but it is recommended to hire an experienced professional to design and install your shoreline.
    • In Delaware there is no licensing program currently.
    • The permits that you will apply for will have general conditions that your project must adhere to when installing.
Example of a living shoreline
  • Now that I have installed my living shoreline, what do I need to do when maintenance is needed?
    • Revisit your permit approvals.
      • Routinely there is a special condition that addresses maintenance activities.
    • If you have questions or want to change the initial design of the living shoreline, reach out to the resources mentioned above in this blog post.
  • With living shorelines being an environmentally friendly project, is there any financial assistance available?
    • Possibly! When you submit your permit application to WSLS, indicate that you would like cost share assistance. They will indicate what funding is currently available.
    • If approved:
      • Cost share will be paid at 50%, to not exceed $5,000
      • Landowner must agree to maintain the practice for 3 years.
      • Vegetated coverage of at least 85% of planted area with native species for those 3 years.
  • What living shoreline projects would be eligible for the cost share program?
    • The project must have a vegetation component and within these parameters:
      • Natural shoreline plantings to control shoreline erosion without the use of rock or other shoreline hardening techniques.
      • Projects that use less that 1 cubic foot of rock per linear foot of shoreline in combination with vegetative components. Note that the vegetative component must be at least twice the area of the footprint of the rock.
      • Marsh toe sill revetment designs in tidal waters that use less than 0.5 cubic yard of rock per linear foot of shoreline and incorporate a vegetative component that is at least twice the area of the footprint of the rock toe.

With these questions and answers I hope we have helped ease the confusion and provided some insight into the common questions relating to permits of living shorelines. This will not answer all of your questions, but DNREC is here – always reach out to the resources to get any clarification. 

wetland-assessments

Updating the Delaware Wetland Program Plan for 2021-2025

Written on: March 22nd, 2021 in Wetland Assessments

By Alison Rogerson, Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program (WMAP) What is a state wetland program plan? Delaware creates five-year wetland program plans to serve as a guide that identifies and prioritizes areas where information or action is needed to advance wetland management statewide. It is created using the goals of many different wetland players across […]


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wetland-restorations

Sea-level Rise, Marsh Migration, and Coastal Resilience

Written on: March 22nd, 2021 in Wetland Restorations

Guest Student Writer: Ezra Kottler, The George Washington University All over the world, sea-level rise is driving changes in natural habitats. Greenhouse gas emissions have brought about the warming of oceans and melting of glaciers such that global mean sea level is increasing over time and the rate at which it increases is getting steeper […]


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wetland-assessments

Wetland Acreage Status in Delaware

Written on: March 22nd, 2021 in Wetland Assessments

By Erin Dorset, Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program (WMAP) Back in December, WMAP introduced you to DNREC’s new 2017 wetlands maps. Since then, WMAP has been hard at work finalizing a report detailing the status and trends of wetlands throughout the State of Delaware. Soon, the entire report will be available, but in the meantime, […]


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living-shorelines

Can I and Should I Build a Living Shoreline…

Written on: December 9th, 2020 in Living Shorelines

By Kenny Smith, Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program The Delaware Living Shorelines Committee members are often asked questions by landowners. Many of those questions relate to the suitability of their property for a living shorelines project. For example: is it possible to build a living shoreline on their property? Can a living shoreline protect their […]


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beneficial-use

Beneficial Reuse of Dredge Material: Rebuilding a Former Tidal Wetland

Written on: December 9th, 2020 in Beneficial UseWetland Restorations

By Erin Dorset, Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program The Mid-Atlantic is a sea-level rise hotspot, meaning that rates of sea level rise in the region are relatively high. As such, scientists, outdoor enthusiasts, and coastal communities alike are all worried about the fate of tidal wetlands. Here at Delaware’s WMAP, we’re seeing what we can […]


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wetland-assessments

Salt Marshes: Working Hard Without Pay

Written on: December 9th, 2020 in Wetland Assessments

Guest Student Writer: Sandra Demberger, M.S., recent graduate, Villanova University Boaters, kayakers, and bird watchers are drawn to salt marshes for their quiet beauty. Wildlife, ranging from great blue herons to tiny fiddler crabs, and marsh grasses rustling in the soothing breeze, all draw recreators to these coastal systems. But did you know, these seemingly […]


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uncategorized

Derelict Crab Pots in Delaware’s Recreational Blue Crab Fishery

Written on: December 9th, 2020 in Outreach

Guest Writer: Kate Fleming, Delaware Sea Grant When crab pots* are lost or abandoned at sea, they remain in the water, free to continue to capture blue crabs as they are designed to do. They can also capture other animals like diamondback terrapin and summer flounder. Since derelict crab pots are not tended by anyone, […]


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wetland-assessments

New Delaware Wetland Maps Available

Written on: September 24th, 2020 in Wetland Assessments

by Alison Rogerson, Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program Measuring wetland health and function is a primary task for DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment. We work on this every year, one watershed at a time. Tracking wetland acreage across the state is also vitally important to managing Delaware’s wetland. Updating statewide wetland maps is a lot […]


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wetland-assessments

Wetlands in an Urban Landscape: The Red Lion Watershed

Written on: September 17th, 2020 in Wetland Assessments

By Erin Dorset, Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program Most of our wetland assessments throughout the years have been in central and southern Delaware, but in the summer of 2017, our Wetland Monitoring and Assessment crew went north to perform wetland condition assessments at 116 wetlands in the Red Lion watershed. From protocol updates to navigating […]


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