Shooting Island Shoreline Restoration

Project Description

The Shooting Island Shoreline Restoration project results in the protection and restoration of 100+ acres of tidal wetlands on this bay island.  Over the past forty years, the island has seen significant erosion due to wind and wave action, both naturally occurring and from vessel wake.  To mitigate erosional forces, the Shoreline Restoration project included installation of a rock sill breakwater on the northern face of the island and invertebrate habitat block clusters on the western portion of the island.
The project utilized living shoreline methodology to reconstruct the historic island edge (to the historic 1978 footprint) and provide erosional protection and flood resiliency along approximately 3300 linear feet of the shoreline.  The project is adaptable to changing relative sea level conditions and provides needed resiliency to both Shooting Island and the Ocean City barrier island.  The project included bathymetric and aerial drone surveys as well as ecological inventories and assessments.  The shoreline restoration will ultimately result in the restoration of approximately 9 acres of tidal wetlands and protection of the entire island.

Invertebrate habitat blocks facilitate the growth and establishment of shellfish. The concrete surfaces of the blocks serve as hard substrate for the attachment of oysters, mussels, and other marine organisms. The interstices of the blocks can be filled with shell product, providing an ideal substrate for invertebrate larvae growth. Linear habitat blocks also effectively stabilize eroding shorelines by attenuating wave energy, protecting the saltmarsh grasses behind them as well as any seagrasses in the water with them. The new habitat created from the invertebrate blocks provides food and habitat for other animals, such as fish, birds, and crabs.  The shellfish also provide another valuable ecosystem service, reducing turbidity and improving water quality by action of the filter feeding.

Ocean City worked with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Atlantic Electric for the design of this project. The project was partially funded through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant and was implemented in cooperation with the landowner and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Project Features

  • Shoreline erosion mitigation

ACT's Role

Restore shoreline from significant erosion to 1978 conditions • Construct rock sill on northern island shoreline • Install invertebrate habitat block clusters on the western portion of the island • NFWF Grant Coordination • NEPA Compliance • Program Development • Field Investigation • Bathymetric Survey • Topographic Survey • Federal and state environmental agency coordination, permitting and regulatory compliance • Public Outreach


Ocean City, NJ


Project Photos

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