Sacred Heart University Living Shoreline Wins National Award

Sacred Heart University Living Shoreline
Sacred Heart University Living Shoreline

Reef balls have recently been featured in Sacred Heart University’s Stratford Point Living Shoreline project.

This project has won the Best Restored Shore Award from the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA).

For details on how reef balls were used in the project and how they prevented shore erosion, and the award the project won, HamletHub wrote a nice article which we recommend you read.

Sacred Heart University Living Shoreline Detail
Sacred Heart University Living Shoreline Detail

Details of the Stratford Point Living Shoreline project.

We’d love to hear what you think of the project and the award it won. Let us know in the comments below.



James W. McFarlane, Larry Beggs,

This research involved traveled the coast from Connecticut down the Atalantic Coast, the five states of the Gulf of Mexico, California and islands surveying existing sites, and compiling data. The photos and analysis of projects will provide insight into best practices for successful living shoreline projects. Factors such as water depth, anticipated wave energy, and the type of organisms will dictate the materials used. The Reef Balls have shown better oyster recruitment than other materials. Placing Reef Balls in multiple rows or using taller Reef Balls will increase the wave attenuation. Placement of Reef Balls can provide a large surface area, and the structure of the Reef Ball creates small eddy currents ideal for spat settlement, and for filter feeders. Aesthetics are important particularly when it is in a homeowner’s backyard. When following best practices, you will provide wave attenuation, resulting in increased growth of marsh grasses, as well as submerged aquatic vegetation. Placed properly Reef Ball, provide a great asset to a living shoreline and best of all they stay were there put. Several of the sites were comparative material, test sites. The surveys were looking for the most positive results at the various test sites.

PRESENTER BIO: Larry Beggs, is the Vice President of the Reef Ball foundation. He has been involved with the Reef Ball Foundation since the early 1990’s . As President of Reef Innovations, the international contractor he trained organizations from around the world in the process of constructing and deployment of artificial reefs.

Palmetto Eco Rap Sept 2017

Watch “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power Trailer (2017) Official – Paramount Pictures” on YouTube

It is a time for hope and action.

We must do everything possible but things are going to get nasty.

Protect your seawall and increase beach width.

If you have a seawall it’s time to take steps to add Resilience.  Reef Innovations has the technology to solve your problem.  Shoreline protection and habitat.  Create your living shoreline one step at a time.  First install a Reel Ball breakwater.  You may find new ideas, but this is tried and tested over the past 23 years.  Aesthetics what one thought in the original design of the Reef Balls.  Don’t forget if you have a dock stretching out with at T shape,  you have the ideal location to start habitat that will add resilience to your shoreline.

The science is important, take a look at the research below.

“In November 2002, prior to the installation of the breakwater system, the shoreline in front of the Marriott had retreated to the seawall, with waves scouring underneath the seawall. Since the installation of the submerged breakwater system the beach width and volume of sand have substantially increased. The beach width varied seasonally 25 to 70 feet, compared to 0 to 30 feet before installation. Four years after the completion of the project, the average beach width reached 72 feet. Wave transmission analysis, based on empirical equations, showed a wave height reduction of at least 60%. Under most non-storm conditions, sediment leeward of the breakwater remains stable, and has allowed a salient to build up in front of the Marriott Hotel.” A thesis by Dana Suzanne Arnouil

Link to full paper



Reef Ball Foundation encouraged scientific study and presentations.

This week Reef Innovations, the worldwide contractor for Reef Balls is at the Restore American Estuaries conference.   Shortly Jim McFarlane will be presenting Best Practices, using Reef Balls on Living Shorelines.  Reef Innovations is sponsoring the poster hall.  

CBS – Walter Cronkite – oystermen back in the 60’s

Cool video to look back into the history of oystering        Cronkite.

October – National Seafood Month

This is National Seafood Month.   It is a great time to recognize all the efforts put into restoration of marine habitats and creation of new habitats by Reef Innovations and its associates around the world.

Get out and enjoy seafood,

Check out NOAA’s site on Seafood Month

Please share below the seafood you have enjoyed.  And what artificial reef module you collected it on.  Photos would also be great!

Prefered method of using recycled shell for restoration projects

Reusable bins of shell carried out  for use on the Hampton River in Virginia.   This is a much better use of plastic than filling the river with plastic mesh bags stuffed with oysters.

Actually, from my observations, at several sites, oyster bags they tend to break over time.  Rebar and other ways have been used to strap them down.   But one of the most important points to note is that as an oyster gets larger its sharp edges end up cutting the mesh bag and the shell is then loose.   We should be keeping plastics out of the water, and marsh.

So,  why not start with loose shell?

Don’t forget you may need some relief to get your oysters started, or at least an area with less silty water allowing a surface for spat to settle.   Reef Balls have been proven very effective at accomplishing what you need for shellfish restoration,  not just oysters but EFH and breakwaters.


Oyster Bags at Morris Landing NC 2016

Cape Fear Living Shoreline Tour & Workshop Tickets, Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM | Eventbrite

Jim McFarlane will be attending this event representing Reef Innovations / Reef Ball Foundation.  If you in the area sign up to attend.

Living Shoreline Tour & Workshop PRESENTED BY:CAPE FEAR NC-US GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL (NC-USGBC), NORTH CAROLINA CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS (NCASLA), AND NORTH CAROLINA COASTAL FEDERATION (NCCF) Date:  Friday, August 26th (9AM-2:30PM)Lunch:  Catered by NY Corner DeliLiving Shoreline Tour Location:  Morris Landing, Holly Ridge (9AM) Tour Parking:  Parking is on the side of the road, at the end of Morris Landing Road, Holly Ridge, NC.  CLICK HERE for Parking map & Instructions. Workshop Location:  Surf City Visitor Center, 102 North Shore Drive, Surf City, NC  28445 (10AM) CEUs:  Pending Approval:  (4.5) Hours:  LEED AP, NCBOLA & AIA Living Shorelines: Shorelines are often stabilized with hardened structures, such as bulkheads, revetment, and concrete seawalls. Ironically, these structures often increase the rate of coastal erosion, remove the ability of the shoreline to carry out natural processes, and provide little habitat for estuarine species. Living Shorelines seek to implement a more natural bank stabilization technique using a variety of structural and organic materials, such as wetland plants, submerged aquatic vegetation, oyster reefs, coir fiber logs, sand fill, and stone. Benefits include shoreline stabilization, protection of surrounding riparian and intertidal environments, improved water quality, and habitat creation. Tour Description: The Morris Landing Living Shoreline is located within NCCF’s 52 acre conservation site, south of Cape Lookout on Stump Sound.  It serves as a natural laboratory and a demonstration project showcasing (5) types of living shoreline applications.  We will meet at the site at 9AM, when tides and temperatures are low.  It is a 10 min drive from the tour site to the Surf City Visitor Center workshop location.   Workshop Outline & Description: 9:00-10:00: MORRIS LANDING TOUR, by NCCF 10:00-10:30: DRIVE to Surf City Visitor Center/ REGISTRATION/ INTROS 10:30-11:30: Presentation 1- Intro to Living Shorelines & the Living Shoreline Academy website tool. Presented by: Tracy Skrabal, Coastal Scientist/ Manager, SE Regional office, NC Coastal Federation 11:30-12:30: Presentation 2: Coastal Resiliency – Waterfront Development and Shoreline Protection & FEMA Coastal Flood Mapping and Revision Processes: Presented by: Heath Hansell, PE, Coastal/Marina Engineer, Applied Technology & Management: Current practices, waterfront planning basics, coastal risk assessment, coastal resilience, “design with nature” approach, and project examples. Overview of FEMA coastal flood mapping, coastal construction guidelines, and map appeal/revision process. 12:30-12:45: Lunch 12:45-1:00: Presentation 3: Surf City’s Ecological Marine Adventures program & NATURAL shoreline preservation projects. Presented by: Larry Bergman, Town Manager, Surf City 1:00-200: Presentation 4: Living shoreline opportunities, challenges & interdisciplinary collaboration approach: Presented by: Ed Morgereth, Senior Ecologist/ Project Manager, Biohabits Inc: Project examples from Biohabitats’ portfolio of living shorelines in the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay watersheds. Will include perspective on experiences working on multi-disciplinary teams of ecologists, water resource engineers, landscape architects, ecological engineers and soil scientists 2:00-2:30: Presentation 5: NATIVE PLANTS FOR LIVING SHORELINES: Presented by: Sharon Day, Founder/ President, Mellow Marsh Farm. The use of native species, their erosion control characteristics, what’s commercially available, pros and cons of different plant sizes, spacing and planting techniques. For Presenter Bio’s, CLICK HERE.

Source: Cape Fear Living Shoreline Tour & Workshop Tickets, Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM | Eventbrite