The Mispillion River, DE living shoreline is best characterized as a hybrid attenuating design, consisting of both a constructed oyster breakwater in the low intertidal zone and three bio-based erosion control structures along the eroding marsh in the mid intertidal zone. Installed in 2014, the primary goal of the installations was to provide enhanced water quality via an increase in shellfish filtration capacity. The secondary goal was to provide ecological enhancement along the existing salt marsh edge by stemming the current erosion and creating suitable habitat for the indigenous vegetation and the salt marsh bivalve community. The goal of water quality enhancement through increased bivalve shellfish filtration capacity was achieved, demonstrated by quantitatively robust recruitment and growth of oysters and ribbed mussels. As of 2016, water quality enhancement was documented by the recruitment of over 25,000 oysters on the structures, estimated to filter 404.7 kg TSS yr-1, and ecological enhancement was best evidenced by the increase in vegetated salt marsh area along the bio-based structures, with net salt marsh gains between 22m^2- 81m^2. Learn more about PDE’s living shoreline work on our web page.
DNREC's Clean Water State Revolving Fund-Water Quality Improvement program and The Welfare Foundation provided funding for the project.
- Josh Moody