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Chesapeake’s Newest Living Shoreline

Transforming an Unstable Shore at Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Park

Once installed, a living shoreline can bring a string of benefits to any unstable waterfront area. With its flourish of beautiful, native plants and natural materials, a living shoreline can provide habitat for wildlife, improve local water quality and clarity, and reduce shoreline erosion and wear. At the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Park in Chesapeake, Virginia, the positive outcomes associated with having a living shoreline will soon be seen.

Made possible by a grant provided by the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, a living shoreline was constructed at the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Park in early July 2015. Created over the course of a few weeks, the 140-ft living shoreline will become increasingly effective as its wetland plants start to grow and mature.

“Living shorelines are an important solution for shoreline erosion—a problem that many waterfront property owners are facing,” said Pam Boatwright, the Elizabeth River Project’s Deputy Director and River Star Business Programs Manager.

The successful installation of the living shoreline was headed by the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation, one of the many organizations involved with the Elizabeth River Project’s River Star Businesses program. Launched in 1997, the River Star Businesses program provides technical expertise to businesses and industries within the Elizabeth River watershed that are looking to adopt eco-friendly practices and projects.

Alongside the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation, the realization of the project relied on the help of a host of volunteers, partners, and donors, including Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism; the Elizabeth River Project; Bay Environmental, Inc.; Currituck Sand; Tidewater Community College; and Luck Stone (who donated Class 1 Rip Rap stones).

As mentioned by Boatwright, “This project at Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Park is a wonderful example of how a dynamic team can work together and achieve multiple benefits for the park and for the river.”

Be sure to check out this beautiful and functional restoration project. Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Park is open to the public and is located at 1775 Historic Way, Chesapeake, VA 23320.