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1/20/2016

Assessing Ecological and Physical 
Performance of Sustainable 
Shoreline Structures 
Stuart Findlay, Jon Miller, 
Omar Lopez‐Feliciano
Ona Ferguson, Emilie Hauser
01/20/2016

hrnerr.org 

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Advisory Committee
Land owners
Funders
Regulators
Natural resource managers
Designers (engineers landscape architects and
restoration scientists)
Land stewards

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Sustainable Shorelines Project
Promoting choices that preserve or
enhance ecology and shoreline
benefits while meeting upland use
and engineering needs in a
changing climate.

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2005 Shoreline Inventory

MUDSAND

BEDROCK

OTHER

41%

Engineered,
Hard Shoreline
Natural

58%

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Ecological Studies & Products
• Literature review
• Study of biodiversity (fish,
plants) and organic matter
accumulation as a function
of shore zone structure &
age
• Rapid assessment protocol
• Ecological brochure and
handbook

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Engineering Studies & Products



Literature review
Physical forces
Cost analysis
Forensic analyses

Ultra high resolution version
of NYHOPS developed
for understanding wave &
current variability

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A Literature Review of Existing Methods for Limiting
Erosion along Sheltered Shorelines

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• Several alternatives exist at
each site for which the costs
are relatively similar.
• Alternative solutions can be
cost competitive with traditional
approaches.
• Consistent with NOAA’s “Weighing
Your Options” report.

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Other Studies & Products
Understanding the management arena
Legal framework
Perceptions of shorelines by users
Outreach
Training
See: https://www.hrnerr.org/hudson-river-sustainable-shorelines

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Demonstration Site Case
Studies & Network

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Forensic Analysis Common Findings
• Vegetation Establishment
• Slope Compatibility
• Debris Impact
• Leeside Erosion
• Adaptive Management
• Stone Sizing
Site

Coxsackie

River Mile 125
County
Greene

Esopus
Meadows
86.5
Ulster

Habirshaw

Irvington

Oak Point

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Westchester

25
East River
Westchester Bronx

Hunt’s
Point
East River
Bronx

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Assessing Ecological and Physical Performance
of Sustainable Shoreline Structures

Foundry Cove, Cold Spring, NY

Objectives 
‐Create a simple yet validated 
set of metrics targeting key 
ecological attributes and physical 
performance of sites within the 
Sustainable Shorelines 
Demonstration Site Network 
‐Train local and regional land 
stewards to use these tools, so 
they can track performance into 
the future. 

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Long Term Outcomes

Engineers, regulators and policy makers are more
confident about performance of nature based shorelines.

Innovative projects built and become the norm


Uniform protocols will facilitate long-term and cumulative
tracking of performance

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Name

Demonstration
Site Network

Hudson
River Mile

Demonstration Site 
Network Case Study

Demonstration Site

Forensic 
Analysis

Coxsackie Boat Launch 

125

Yes

Stevens Institute

Yes

Athens 4th St. Kayak 
Launch 

117

Yes

Kaaterskill Associates 
& Kleinke Associates

Rhinecliff Landing 
Bulkhead

90

Esopus Meadows

Stevens Institute
Feeney’s

86.5

Yes

Creative Habitat

Foundry Dock

54

Yes

Hudson & 
Pacific Designs

Dockside

55

Habirshaw Park 

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Nyack Beach

30

Harlem River 

Yes

Milone & MacBroom 
Yes

Creative Habitat

Yes

Princeton Hydro 

Harlem River

Yes

NYC Parks et al.

Hunts Point

East River

Yes

HDR

Yes

Oak  Point

East River

na

Yes

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Project Outputs
• Field-validate assessment tools
• Guidance manual on the appropriate use of the assessment
tools.
• Field-based workshops on applying the assessment tools
• Collection of local data on ecological and physical
performance
• Baseline condition established before the next major storm.
• Potential to establish conditions before a shoreline is
modified.

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Thank You
Emilie Hauser
Estuary Training Coordinator
Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve
Emilie.hauser@dec.ny.gov

hrnerr.org 

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