Institute for Water Resources

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Ocean City Beach looking north and the Everglades

National Shoreline Management Study

The National Shoreline Management Study (NSMS) contributes to ongoing efforts to improve coastal management. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated the study through collaborative efforts with other agencies and in coordination with states. The primary focus areas of NSMS are:

  • Erosion and accretion and its causes
  • Environmental implications of shoreline change
  • Economic implications of shoreline change
  • Agency roles and contributions in restoring and renourishing shores
  • Systematic movement of sand

The NSMS is supporting dialogs between Federal, state and local stakeholders about collaborative and systems approaches for managing the Nation's shores. This study takes into account the regional diversity of our coasts. It will make recommendations about the use of systems approaches to sediment management, and roles for Federal and non-Federal participation in shore protection. The implementation of systems approaches, in conjunction with the concept of shared responsibility for shore management, will provide the comprehensive framework necessary to meet current challenges for shoreline management

Draft Shoreline Management Study for Lake Michigan

In March 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its draft Great Lakes Region National Shoreline Management Study, Lake Michigan report.

The report provides an assessment of the effects of erosion and accretion upon socio-economics and the environment, and what management actions are being taken or are needed to maintain resilient shorelines. Read the news story (pdf, 282 KB) to find out more about it.

A Call for Resiliency

The National Shoreline Management Study results show that the shorelines of the U.S. are eroding, with enormous implications for the health, economics, and welfare of our citizens and the environment. Climate change and sea level rise significantly compound the regional and local issues on what management steps are needed to establish resilient shorelines. A series of fact sheets are available to provide information at the national, regional and state levels:

Eroding U.S. Shorelines - A Call for Resiliency