Resources for Shoreline Landowners

  • Shoreline Landowner Program

Shoreline erosion can be a challenge, but it is a natural process. Here are many resources to assist you in making decisions about how to maintain and protect your property while also considering the benefits of natural shorelines:

Living on the Shoreline-Educational Information:

Shore Friendly – Shore Friendly is a public information website for waterfront homeowners who care about the health of Puget Sound. It is funded through the National Estuary Program by the Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources.

Your Marine Waterfront: A guide to protecting your property while promoting healthy shorelines – This booklet provides waterfront property owners tools for understanding causes of shoreline erosion and options for addressing erosion.

Restore America’s Estuaries: What are living shorelines? – “Living shorelines” is a term used to define a number of shoreline protection options that allow for natural coastal processes to remain through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill, and other structural and organic materials.

Encyclopedia of Puget Sound: Salish Sea Currents Magazine – The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound is a free, open access website where scientists, policymakers and educators find and share information about the state of the Puget Sound ecosystem — its species, its features, its health and its people. The website is a product of the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute:

Shore Stewards Guide for Shoreline Living:

Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines – The Marine Shoreline Design Guidelines (MSDG) were developed to provide a comprehensive framework for site assessment and alternatives analysis to determine the need for shore protection and identify the technique that best suits the conditions at a given site. There are many guidelines and manuals for the design of ‘protection’ techniques for the more typical open coast, but prior to the MSDG, there was almost no guidance that reflected the variety of conditions found in Puget Sound. For this reason the MSDG were created to inform responsible management of Puget Sound shores for the benefit of landowners and our shared natural resources.

Soft Shoreline Stabilization: Shoreline Master Program Planning and Implementation Guidance:   

Coastal Processes, Geology, Shoreline Photos, Landslides: 

WA Dept. of Ecology – Shorelands: DOE maintains oversight over the County Shoreline Program and the shoreline permit process. They also maintain a large and informative website.

Puget Sound:


Coastal Maps/Shoreline photos:

Applied coastal geology:

Gravel Beach Blogspot – photos from around Puget Sound by Hugh Shipman, Washington Dept of Ecology:

USGS Landslide Hazards – The US Geological Survey operates an Internet site with a large amount of information, including landslide hazards:


Reading the Washington Landscape (Blog):


Native Plant Resources for Marine Shorelines:

Vegetation Management: Guide for Puget Sound Bluff Property Owners, by Elliott Menashe for Dept. of Ecology:

Shoreline Management and Stabilization Using Vegetation, Greenbelt Consulting for the Coastal Training Program:

Marine Riparian Vegetation Communities of Puget Sound, by James S. Brennan:

Marine Shoreline Plants-Mason Conservation District:

Drainage Management:

Surface Water and Groundwater on Coastal Bluffs: A Guide for Puget Sound Property Owners:

Impacts of Shoreline Armor:

USGS Shoreline Armoring Impacts-State of the Science – The US Geological Survey in the federal research and advisory agency for earth science issues. A scientific workshop was convened in May 2009, specifically to bring local and national experts together to review the state of the science regarding the physical and biological impacts of armoring on sheltered shorelines such as those of Puget Sound:


Maps and Mapping Tools:

Sound IQ- SoundIQ allows you to search for Puget Sound-area information and create custom maps. This mapping interface is flexible and should work on desktop, tablet and phone devices:

NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer- This mapping tool simulates various sea level rise scenarios (from one to six feet above the average highest tides) and the corresponding areas that would be impacted by flooding:

Washington State Geologic Information Portal- Using our interactive maps, you can create and view custom maps, find out more information about map features, and download map data for use in a geographic information system (GIS). In addition to a variety of geoscience layers that can be turned on and off, each interactive map has many base layers to choose from:

Other (Miscellaneous articles, conference proceedings, research):

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, Late April 2014:

Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project- White papers: