In order to assess the effects and structural integrity of living shorelines, PDE, together with our tri-state partners, developed standardized monitoring methods to track performanace over time, and to compare them to hardened and untreated areas. The core and supplemental metrics developed in the monitoring framework outline a series of physical, chemical, biological, and spatial attributes which can be applied to any system both in and outside of the Delaware Estuary. The picture to the left shows the application of a feldspar marker horizon to measure sediment accretion behind a living shoreline installation. For more information, read the “Framework for Standardization Monitoring of Living Shorelines.”
An example of a plot layout for one of PDE’s planned 2014 projects is shown in the figure below. A control area is matched with each of three treatment areas because this site has an energy gradient where Treatment 1 experiences less wave and current energy than Treatment 3. We plan to install a hybrid living shoreline at the higher energy treatment (oyster reef breakwaters paired with intertidal logs), whereas Treatments 1 and 2 will consist of just intertidal treatments, but Treatment 1 will be smaller and linked to existing rip rap, making it different from Treatment 2. For each treatment and control, five parallel transects will be established perpendicular to the shoreline, and various core and supplemental metrics will be assessed along these transects extending from approximately MLLW to MHHW. Baseline (pre?installation) conditions will be assessed at this site at least once prior to installation and then will be monitored for at least two years, contingent on funding. The supplemental metrics selected for this site will focus on water quality and ecological enhancement to gauge performance relative to the priorities of the funder in this case.