The Virginia Sea Grant program approached VCPC to conduct research in partnership with the William & Mary Public Policy Program and a James Madison University (JMU) architecture professor, Jori Erdman. Professor Erdman is researching the viability of creating land with artificial oyster rings based on similar projects seen in Louisiana. Professor Erdman has provided the diagrams of the project used throughout this paper. Ultimately, this paper examines some legal issues raised by the use of these rings to prevent coastal erosion or act as a flooding buffer for commercial or residential buildings. With this goal in mind, this paper addresses three key issues: (1) the legal ramifications if the private property ownership line shifts; (2) the legal ramifications if the Resource Protection Area (RPA) shifts; and (3) whether the project can be considered a living shoreline under relevant statutes and guidance.

This abstract has been taken from the authors' introduction.

Document Type

Shoreline Management and Riparian Rights

Publication Date

Fall 2023