Natural shoreline strengthening?


HarborLAB is exploring ways to strengthen its shoreline without adding or rebuilding bulkheads. We found this great link on shoreline stabilization techniques from the NYS State Department of Environmental Conservation.

We consulted with NY DEC Forester Garrett Koplun about what species might make this feasible. Here’s what he wrote:

“You’re likely to want to include species of the Maritime shrubland community. Ideally low growing, densely rooting shrubs and trees that can both strengthen the soil and withstand harsh winds. And of course as you mentioned, salt tolerant & drought tolerant species. Some of what I’ve seen growing well (naturally and restored) around NYC coastal areas are:

– black cherry
– hackberry
– E. Red bud
– Willow Oak
– Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)
– Juniper (Eastern Red Cedar)
– Pitch pine


– bayberry
– shining sumac
– American holly
– beach plum

– sand-rose (Rosa rugosa)
– Virginia creeper

Some of this is edible. Not sure how palatable though.

Hope it helps,


It does and we hope sharing this helps others! One note is that we have seen many mulberry trees thrive in harsh conditions.

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