Living Shorelines Grants & Technical Assistance Program

New Jersey’s shorelines are being challenged by storms, sea level rise and a changing climate.

The Nature Conservancy is helping waterfront communities, like yours, leverage nature to address flooding, erosion and other negative impacts. This Living Shorelines Program was created to assist communities in developing and implementing living shorelines as a nature-based solution to the erosion of tidal shorelines and other coastal hazards. 

As an alternative to addressing shoreline erosion using rigid vertical structures such as bulkheads and seawalls, living shorelines help attenuate wave energy and reduce erosion while maintaining the natural shoreline gradient and maintaining or enhancing the nearshore habitat. This is accomplished through the strategic placement of various elements, which may include sand, plants, rock, and pre-cast modular structures.

To stay informed about this program, including training offerings, please join the email list. 

Connecting local natural resilience partners and projects

TNC is convening interested stakeholders form around New Jersey to learn about the techniques used and the people who have done these projects in the state.

Providing powerful, free online mapping and other support tools

Cost and Effectiveness Analysis of Select New Jersey Living Shoreline Projects
– published in 2021, this provides a comparison of 5 constructed living shoreline projects in NJ. A simple overview can be found on the accompanying fact sheet. A webinar about this analysis can be found in the section below.

Community Resource Guide for Planning Living Shorelines
– updated in 2019, this guide contains helpful information about how to develop a living shoreline project, including budget templates.

Restoration Explorer: Living Shorelines App
– a high-level screening tool that can help you decide what type of living shoreline technique may be appropriate for a given stretch of NJ shoreline.

Stevens Institute of Technology Living Shoreline Engineering Guidelines
– provides guidance on technical and ecological parameters that can help with appropriate siting and design of living shoreline projects.

Procurement Guide for Nature-based Solutions
– contains sample RFP language to help municipalities solicit expert input for implementing living shoreline projects.

US Dept. of Transportation Nature Based Solutions for Coastal Highway Resilience – An Implementation Guide
follows the project implementation process from planning all the way through construction and maintenance to help transportation professionals understand when, where, and which nature-based solutions may work for them.

Hosting free training workshops and webinars

To learn about our 2020 events, please join the email list or check back here.

December 2020 – Webinar
Cost and Effectiveness of Living Shorelines: An Analysis of Five New Jersey Projects
To watch this webinar, click here.

October 2019 – Workshop (agenda)
Living Shoreline Permitting: An Opportunity to Speak with the Regulatory Agencies
US Army Corps of Engineers
NOAA Fisheries Service
NJDEP Land Use Regulation Program
NJDEP Shellfisheries Bureau

June 2019 – Workshop (agenda)
Lessons Learned from TNC-Supported Living Shoreline Projects – Sharing and Networking

May 2019 – Webinar
Funding Sources for Nature-Based Solutions
To watch this webinar, click here and use this password: hQ3RzjJU 

March 2019 – Workshop (agenda)
Planning for Resilient Communities Using Nature-Based Solutions

October 2018 – Workshop (agenda)
Building With Nature: A Workshop to Explore Oyster Reef and Marsh Sill Living Shoreline Techniques

July 2018 – Webinar
Creating a Conceptual Design for a Living Shoreline Project
To watch this webinar, click here.

April 2018 – Workshop (agenda)
Living Shoreline Permitting: An Opportunity to Speak with the Regulatory Agencies

Offering expert consultation and small grant funding

TNC staff offers free consultation to help guide your project. You can request consultation by emailing Bill Shadel, Coastal Projects Manager.

In 2017, ’18, and ’19, TNC provided small grants for living shoreline projects in New Jersey for such outcomes as final design, permit applications, and project construction. At this time, TNC does not have plans to offer additional grants beyond 2019-20.
Previously funded projects include the following:

Neptune, NJ
Shark River Island Living Shoreline

Ship Bottom, NJ
Shore Avenue Park Living Shoreline

Beach Haven, NJ
Mordecai Island Living Shoreline

Waretown, NJ
Lighthouse Center Shoreline Stabilization

Red Bank, NJ
Hubbard Park Living Shoreline

Point Pleasant, NJ
Slade Dale Christmas Tree Breakwater

Volunteers and partners fill branch boxes with re-purposed Christmas trees offshore of Slade Dale Sanctuary in Point Pleasant, NJ. (Photo credit: Princeton Hydro)


For questions about the program please email Bill Shadel, Coastal Projects Manager.

This program has been supported, in part, through a grant from the Climate Resilience Fund.