Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment

Priority Issues: Shoreline Erosion

Shoreline erosion is a significant concern for many waterfront property owners, with some areas of the Peninsula experiencing upwards of 8 feet of erosion per year (REFERENCE). To address erosion, many shoreline priority owners have fortified their shorelines with expensive riprap (rock piles) and/or bulkheads that must be maintained on a routine basis. The cost of maintaining these shoreline hardening structures is often a significant financial burden, which has led some homeowners to let their bulkhead/riprap fall into states of disrepair. Neighboring property owners are concerned about the impacts that resulting erosion is having on their shoreline health, and have limited financial resources and/or legal options to protect their investments from these impacts. 

Several natural shorelines also exist in the Deal Island Peninsula area, many of which are valued community recreational beaches and also undergoing severe rates of erosion. Of particular concern are the erosion impacts to a large stretch of natural shoreline on Deal Island near Crowell Rd. which has lost 275 feet of beachfront since the 1970s, including an extensive dune structure which has helped protect the island from past flooding and storm events. This area of Deal Island is home to a number of residents, including the residents of a historic and low-lying African American neighborhood located just behind the shoreline. It is also where a critical section of Deal Island Rd. is located, providing the only access road to communities further south. Within the last decade, this section of Deal Island shoreline has eroded to a thin strip of sand which is often inundated during high-high tide and storm events, flooding an interior marsh complex and the neighborhoods located just behind it. DIPP stakeholders are particularly concerned about the repercussions of this erosion should should the beach become permanently breeched. 

Erosion behind a bulkhead in Wenona that is encroaching onto neighboring properties. 

A highly erosive shoreline on Deal Island  that provides important protection for interior areas of the island. 

Extreme tide events often flood the shoreline, and temporarily inundate the marsh complex located just behind, causing flooding on neighboring properties. Photo taken November 2018. 

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