The Deeper Dive: Promoting Living Shorelines to Preserve the Texas Coast

The GLO is committed to promoting ecologically and economically sound coastal management practices. With this goal in mind, the GLO is promoting the use of living shorelines as an alternative to traditional shoreline stabilization techniques along the Texas coast. A living shoreline is a natural shoreline stabilization approach designed to mimic nature and serve as an alternative to bulkheads, seawalls, and other hard stabilization methods. These features utilize natural materials along with the strategic placement of plants and organic material to reduce erosion and protect property. In the right setting, they can prevent land loss and provide the aesthetic benefits of a natural shoreline. They can be designed in a variety of sizes, configurations, and dimensions and can be successful in both smaller residential locations and along larger sections of the coast.

Volunteers plant marsh grass as part of a living shoreline in Lake Pasadena, Harris County. Photo courtesy of Galveston Bay Foundation.

To help coastal property owners install a living shoreline, the GLO has developed “A Guide to Living Shorelines in Texas”. This guidance document is meant to be a one-stop educational resource that provides streamlined information on designing, permitting, and constructing viable living shoreline projects. The guide also contains a link to the Living Shoreline Site Suitability Model (LSSM) developed by the Harte Research Institute. Learn more about the tool in the “New Tools and Tech” section below.

In addition to creating the guide, the GLO has hosted a series of informative living shoreline workshops over the last two years. The 2019 workshops provided introductory information on living shorelines and the 2020 workshops presented technical information on how to install a living shoreline and debuted the guidance document.

Living shorelines help prevent coastal erosion using natural materials.

The GLO hopes this newly available information will help coastal landowners build a living shoreline on their property that is resilient to coastal hazards and can protect their piece of Texas for generations to come.

Download the guide and workshop materials here:



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Texas General Land Office

Official Account for the Texas General Land Office | Follow Commissioner George P. Bush on Twitter at @georgepbush.