The purpose of proper shoreline management is to look beyond each individual site to the whole
community. Uncontrolled development may adversely affect the shoreline in a number of ways.
Management policies should, therefore, be concerned with minimizing changes in patterns of drainage
and runoff, preserving ecologically valuable areas such as dunes and wetlands, preserving natural
protective forms such as dunes and beaches, avoiding adverse alternation of coastal configurations,
protecting coastal waters from pollution, and restoring damaged areas to former conditions. [The
Conservation Foundation (1980)]. These policies would be applied to the earlier identified shoreforms in
relation to low cost shore protection as follows.
Adverse uses of lands adjacent to the tops of banks or bluffs should be avoided. Clearing of trees
and undergrowth, constructing buildings, or plowing could all destabilize existing slopes by increasing
seepage and surface erosion or by adding extra weight (surcharge) which the bluff must support.
surcharges, in particular, should be avoided. changes in surface drainage patterns should be planned to
divert the flow away from the bluff face.
Zoning regulations should be instituted to restrict development to areas landward of setback
lines. These should be established based on projected shoreline recession amounts over a specified
future time period. In fact, in localities threatened with erosion, these setback lines are required for
endangered structures to qualify for insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program.
Activities should be discouraged that will alter or disturb the bluff face or toe. Stable bluffs
should not be stripped of vegetation, nor should they be unnecessarily excavated, as this could lead to
slides and slope failures. This does not eliminate slope flattening or drainage controls as alternatives,
because these are used when the bluffs are inherently unstable and must be treated to restore stability.
Plantings and other uses of vegetation should be encouraged on all excavated or natural slopes to
increase stability and reduce erosion.
Toe protection should be provided in all cases where wave attack undermines the bluff. Any
appropriate device outlined within this report, subject to other engineering, shoreline use, or
environmental criteria, would be acceptable.
Activities should be discouraged that remove sand from the active beach zone, whether for fill at
other areas, or for placement elsewhere on the beach profile. This would include dredging for beach fills,
as a source of concrete aggregates, or as fill for bag structures.
New development should be located inland from the active beach to preclude the need for future
shore protection. Setback lines should be established and observed. In most states, public domain
is maintained as the area up to the mean high water line (MHHW on the west coast). In some states
(e.g.,Texas) public domain extends higher, to the point of permanent vegetation. In addition, local
Governments in some areas have zoned additional setbacks of 30 feet or more from the MHW line, with
the area designated for community recreational purposes.
Actions that adversely affect the littoral system should be discouraged. Accretion devices such as
breakwaters and groins interfere with sand transport and may cause downdrift erosion. Sand
permanently trapped behind such structures is also unavailable during transport reversals and could cause