U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and others in the Senate have introduced the Living Shorelines Act, legislation that would create a new grant program under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for nature-based shoreline protection projects known as living shorelines.
Living shorelines are a type of green infrastructure that protect and stabilize coastal edges by using natural materials such as plants, sand, shell, or rock. Unlike a concrete seawall or other artificial structure, which impedes the growth of plants and animals, living shorelines can grow over time, allowing them to adapt to changing conditions. Using green and natural infrastructure, communities can create a buffer that mitigates the impacts of shoreline flooding by reducing wave energy and decreasing erosion. Green infrastructure is cost-effective and can also provide benefits such as improved local water quality and ecology.