Better Ground

Natural Shorelines

What nature meant for us.

Your natural shoreline plays a critical role in Puget Sound by supporting habitat not only for forage fish, but for the greater Puget Sound food chain on which we all depend. Maintaining a natural waterfront is one of the best things you can do for Puget Sound.

Shoreline erosion is a natural coastal process and a familiar experience for those living along the waterfront.  Many Puget Sound homeowners know that erosion contributes the sediment which builds our beaches – a basic part of shoreline living.  Despite this knowledge, erosion can be a cause of concern when you’re not sure what’s going on.

Are you worried about erosion along your waterfront?  The causes of erosion are very site-specific and are best understood with a site visit. Your District can help assess what’s happening and offer specific guidance so you avoid contributing to erosion problems.  How you manage water and vegetation on your property makes a huge difference to erosion rates and slope or bluff stability. In cases where erosion is a serious problem, we can talk about the various options available to stabilize your shoreline, and protect the Puget Sound. 

The good news is that the best waterfront management options are often the least expensive.

Doing nothing at all is often the best choice for sites with very slow erosion rates. There are also times when steps should be taken to address the causes of erosion, particularly when upland drainage management or vegetation management are contributing. Your District can offer site-appropriate guidance for actions like adding the right plants to stabilize your bank, or managing stormwater so it doesn’t destabilize a slope.  Very often, simple, inexpensive steps for slowing erosion back to normal rates are the best choice for a shoreline property. 

How Can I Be Sure ​I Am Not Contributing To Erosion Problems?

A grassy shoreline that would benefit from additional native plants to help stabilize the slope.

Are you confident about managing water and plants on your waterfront? Do you need to do something about erosion right now?  Set up a site visit with your District’s shoreline specialists to receive site-appropriate recommendations.

If you feel that your home is at risk of damage from a landslide or severe erosion, contact a coastal engineer or licensed geologist immediately to address your concerns. ​If you are facing non-threatening shoreline erosion and would like to understand what is happening and what you can do, contact your District for an assessment.