Frequently Asked Questions Living Shorelines

What is a living shoreline?

Living shorelines are the result of applying erosion control measures that include a suite of techniques which can be used to minimize coastal erosion and maintain coastal process. Techniques may include the use of fiber coir logs, sills, groins, breakwaters or other natural components used in combination with sand, other natural materials and/or marsh plantings. These techniques are used to protect, restore, enhance or create natural shoreline habitat.

Do I need permits to alter my shoreline?

Yes. All work in tidal wetlands or tidewater requires a permit through the Maryland Department of the ​Environment (MDE). Other federal, state, local, permits may be required (Ie. Critical Area, Sediment and Erosion Control, Grading Permit, etc). Permit applications can be found here. The permit application instruction manual can be found here​.

Who is my regional reviewer?

Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is the state’s regulatory agency. MDE has staff assigned to a regional area. You can find the link to your local tidal and non-tidal wetlands reviewer at the Wetlands and Waterways Protection Program Directory page on the MDE website.


Where do I find a permit application?​​

Permit applications can be found here. The permit application instruction manual can be found here.

How long does it take to receive a tidal wetlands license?

Category A:
Approximately 9-12 months for MDE

Category B:
Approximately 360 days for Army Corps of Engineers (If project is over 500 linear feet in length or extends more than 35’ channelward)

What funding opportunities are available?

Will a living shoreline work at my property?

Living shorelines are a ‘suite of techniques’. More often than not, a combination of these nature-based techniques will work to protect your property. If you’re interested in a technical assistance site visit please fill out our site visit request form here​ ​and a staff member will reach out to you shortly.

I think I have an eroding shoreline. Can someone visit my property?

Yes, please fill out our Site Visit Request Form​.